5th Precinct officers of the NYPD had no intention of waiting for firefighters to come to the 6-story apartment building in flames right across from their station door.
Officers Willian Finan and William Dottavio along with two other colleagues charged in after residents fleeing the fire said there were elderly people trapped inside.
“I remember very specifically a guy walked up to me and said, ‘Mommy Mommy—6th floor’ and at that point I knew we had to get up there,” said NYPD officer Jeremy Banfield, talking to Fox 5 from their precinct in New York City’s Chinatown.
Released body cam footage worn by Dottavio shows Officer Finan exiting the building with a 99-year-old woman over his shoulder, before Dottavio charges up 5 flights of stairs to find the fourth member of the rescue team, Detective Rodney Rosado, coming out with another elderly woman.
Between the four men, they were able to rescue the 99-year-old, two elderly men aged 96 and 91, as well as a fourth woman whose age was not disclosed—all just 5 days before Christmas.
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“After you’re done and after you get everybody out of there, and you do see that the holidays are here, then you start thinking wow. This could’ve been totally different,” said Officer Rosado.
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