The New York Post
By Reuven Fenton , Jessica Simeone and Pedro Oliveira Jr.
NEW YORK — Two FDNY trucks responding to the same 911 call collided in Brooklyn yesterday after blowing through a four-way stop - plowing through a yellow cab and a brick home, authorities said.
Eleven firefighters were injured in the 7:45 a.m. collision at Avenue J and East 103rd Street in Canarsie. The trucks from Engine 257 and Ladder 170 were responding to a report of smoke at a location a couple miles away, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said.
One truck was headed west on Avenue J, while the other rushed south on 103rd Street.
"I heard the sirens first, and then I heard a big bang," said Egbert Palmer, 75, who lives near the intersection where the trucks met front-first.
The firetrucks smashed into the rear driver's side of a yellow cab parked on 103rd Street and plowed into the brick wall of a house at the intersection.
"I heard the tires screeching, and I quickly looked out the window and saw the truck coming toward the house," said Cecil Lowe, 65, who lives on the second floor of the home that was struck.
One of the drivers was pinned unconscious inside his truck, Lowe said. Ambulances rushed in and used the Jaws of Life to take him out.
"When I came down, I saw they were taking someone on a stretcher to an ambulance," Palmer said. "Some of the other firemen were holding their hands to their heads.
"It looks like a disaster zone . . . It's a good thing no one was walking around there at the time. There easily could have been fatalities."
Four firefighters were listed in serious but stable condition at Kings County Hospital; seven had minor injuries.
The call they had set out to respond turned out to be a false alarm, Dwyer said.
Lowe's daughter, Janelle Lowe, 34, was shocked to find her home's outer wall destroyed when she came home from her nursing job.
"It's just devastating," Janelle Lowe said. "The windows got knocked out. The truck could have come right into the living room."
But despite the damage, she was sympathetic to the firemen.
"I know the Fire Department is trying to help people, and because of Hurricane Sandy, they've been putting in a lot of long hours," she said. "I just hope the firefighter who was injured is OK. My prayers go out to all the firemen's families."
Copyright 2012 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
All Rights Reserved