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Off-duty FDNY firefighter rescues resident, dogs in burning apartment

Firefighter Joe Pendergas was on his way to work when he spotted smoke coming from the Staten Island apartment building

By Luke Peteley
Staten Island Advance

NEW YORK — A Staten Island firefighter is being lauded for his heroic actions after he rushed into a blaze while off-duty and rescued a resident and four French bulldogs.

It was approximately 7:30 a.m. Friday when Staten Islander Joe Pendergast, 33, was making his way to work at Ladder 113 in Brooklyn when he first spotted billowing smoke coming out of an apartment building, according to the New York Post.

The FDNY received a report of the fire in the vicinity of Parkside Avenue and St. Paul’s Place around 7:38 a.m. — but by that time Pendergast had already acted.

Hearing that an individual remained inside the building, the off-duty firefighter, with no gear on hand, rushed into the apartment complex, according to the FDNY.

Within a living room in the building, an e-bike was on fire, and a resident inside was attempting to extract his dogs from the second floor, a FDNY spokesperson said.

Pendergast urged the occupant to flee and in making their way to the front door a second e-bike “exploded” near the doorway, as detailed by the FDNY.

In an effort to contain the blaze, Pendergast shut the door, burning his arm in the process, the FDNY said.

Four canines were rescued as a result of the firefighter’s valiant efforts.

The FDNY reports that 12 units consisting of 60 fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene and were able to bring the blaze under control around 8:27 a.m.

Two firefighters with minor injuries were taken to Kings County Hospital, according to the FDNY.

The initial cause of the fire remains under investigation. However, an FDNY spokesperson says that hazmat was on the scene assessing the e-bikes that were involved in the fire.

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