FFs rescue pinned NYC construction workers after partial roof collapse

“This was a highly technical, very dangerous, complicated rescue," FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante said


Elizabeth Keogh
New York Daily News

Two construction workers had to be rescued Friday afternoon when the roof of a Brooklyn building partially collapsed on them, police said.

The 101-year-old home on Lincoln Road near New York Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens was recently cited for cracks in its facade, authorities said.

“A brick wall had collapsed onto workers on the second floor and brought the roof down on top of them, pinning them between the roof, the brick wall and the floor,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante.
“A brick wall had collapsed onto workers on the second floor and brought the roof down on top of them, pinning them between the roof, the brick wall and the floor,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante. (Photo/Theodore Parisienne)

“I saw dust and I didn’t know what the situation was exactly, so I kept going straight instead of making the turn,” said Daniel Brooks, 65, who was driving nearby. “It was like a mushroom cloud of dust.”

Related: 4 important considerations for victims of collapsed structures

About 60 firefighters raced to the scene of the 1:10 p.m. collapse.

“A brick wall had collapsed onto workers on the second floor and brought the roof down on top of them, pinning them between the roof, the brick wall and the floor,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante. “This was a highly technical, very dangerous, complicated rescue.”

To pull it off, Ferrante said, first responders had to stabilize the building while tending to the injured workers.

“Patients in that kind of scenario require a higher level of care, where they need to be treated while they’re still trapped, which our paramedics are trained to do,” said Dr. Glenn Asaeda, the FDNY’s chief medical director. “We can’t wait for them to be taken out to start treatment.”

The two construction workers were rushed to Kings County Hospital in serious condition, the FDNY said.

Brooks said work was being done on the home for about a year.

“They’re building on top of these buildings that have been here for so long, some for hundreds of years,” he said. “That house was basically a shell. They were trying to go up higher and were in the process of going deeper. These houses can’t handle this type of construction.”


Two men were injured in a partial roof collapse on Lincoln Road in Brooklyn on Friday, July 30. (Photo/Theodore Parisienne)
Two men were injured in a partial roof collapse on Lincoln Road in Brooklyn on Friday, July 30. (Photo/Theodore Parisienne)
Two men were injured in a partial roof collapse on Lincoln Road in Brooklyn on Friday, July 30. (Photo/Theodore Parisienne)

Another neighbor, Ari Gold, 54, said the home “had been leaning for a long time.”

“I’m not surprised something happened,” he added. “It was dilapidated. It should’ve been torn down completely before work was started.”

The Department of Buildings is investigating the collapse.

On May 26, the DOB received a call from a woman worried the demolition work would damage her adjacent property, records show.

A violation was issued for failure to maintain the home’s parapet facade.

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