Video: Off-duty FDNY firefighter saves girl, 3, from house fire

Ladder 159 members located the girl’s mother, but she later died from her injuries; the child remains in critical condition

By Leila Merrill

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — An off-duty FDNY firefighter rescued a 3-year-old girl from a burning home Sunday night in his neighborhood before a crew arrived.

Stefan Douglas, of Engine Company 276, used a neighbor’s garden hose on pockets of fire in the house.

“Luckily, I had a self-contained breathing apparatus in my car as I had done a career day event at a local school earlier in the week. This apparatus helps us breathe clean air in a fire. I had a t-shirt and shoes on, which left me pretty exposed,” he said in a Facebook post by FDNY.

Then Douglas heard the girl.

"I feel the little girl, grab her, pick her up and walk straight back out the same way I came," he said, according to ABC 7.

Members of Ladder 159 found the girl’s mother, 31, in the house. She died Monday at a hospital.

The critically injured child remained at Staten Island University Hospital North as of Tuesday. She is expected to survive.

"There are definitely some times I sit back and think, why me, why was I picked for this?" Douglas said. "I really knew nothing about the job until I got here. I love it. It's the best decision of my life."

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