Four alarm fire in Woodhaven and the forging of heroes

You’ve probably heard this saying many times, “Heroes are not born, they are made.”

A hero can be your teacher, your parent, your friend, or some super athlete on television. The term hero can be as subjective as beauty. To us, he may be a terrorist, to his followers, he’s a “hero.” To you, Miley Cyrus may be a fool, but to her millions of followers, she’s a hero. It is usually a subjective term. However, there are times when the term hero is universal. Such is the case in this story.

New York’s Bravest, our firefighters. They step into crumbling skyscrapers to save lives, small homes, buildings, docked ships, and they do so at their own peril each and every single time. They do this because they care and want to save lives, not for the money. Because I have yet to meet a wealthy public servant.

Cristino Melendez, a local firefighter in Queens, along with several fire houses responded to a four alarm fire that spread from 1 two family home to 8 houses in the Woodhaven section of Queens. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, though 6 families (28 people) have been displaced and are being helped by the Red Cross. 8 minor injuries were reported, 2 of which were New York’s Bravest.

The civilians and firemen all displayed heroic efforts in fighting this fire, both attempting to help evacuate people from their homes. My heart is heavy for the folks who lost their homes and belongings. Allegedly the fire was caused by a lit cigarette, and quickly spread as the houses are all nearly connected.

Cristino Melendez who is an animal lover, is seen here attempting to save a dog by administering CPR.

Cristino Melendez FDNY Dog CPR

The heart breaking part of the story is that the doggy didn’t make it. However, I tip my hat to Cristino Melendez and the brave firemen from all these firehouses for their efforts to save lives, both human and our four legged furry friends.

Thank you to New York’s Bravest, you guys are true, undeniable heroes!

Following are the Fire Houses that helped fight this blaze, if I miss anyone in this list, apologies! Send me the names, and I will proudly add them!

FDNY Ladder 143 / Engine 294

FDNY Ladder 142 / Engine 285

FDNY Ladder 173 / Engine 331

FDNY Ladder 107

FDNY Rescue 4

FDNY Squad 270

FDNY Ladder 135 / Engine 286

**UPDATE: It was announced today that the blaze was set intentionally by a Luis Lopez, 30. A tenant at one of the houses. May this dirt bag face the full consequences for killing this poor dog, hurting those people, and ruining the lives and homes of so many innocent people.**

Please note the date on a post, it may be an old view. Growth and change.

Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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  1. Kim

    03-20-2015 at 9:44 am

    This was a great post. Thank you for highlighting the brave firefighters during this tragedy. I’m sorry to hear the dog passed. At least they tried their best to save him/her.

  2. mariana

    03-20-2015 at 11:11 am

    Heroes are the guys who male the work a better place every day

  3. Dove

    03-20-2015 at 6:22 pm

    God bless our firefighters and all first responders! I am sad to hear the dog died… my worst fear is that a fire will happen in my building and I won’t be able to save my dog. I love that they tried to do what they could. Nice post Angel!

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