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Five-alarm inferno rips through pair of Dyker Heights homes, 12 firefighters hurt


A five-alarm fire tore through a pair of Dyker Heights homes late Saturday into early Sunday, injuring a dozen first responders, according to authorities.

Fire officials say the blaze broke out at 1330 74th St. at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Sept. 12. The blaze started out as a two-alarm tempest but quickly grew to a five-alarm inferno, spreading to the dwelling next door.

FDNY Chief Kevin Woods said more than 220 firefighters worked four hours into the overnight battling the blaze, finally bringing it under control at around 3:46 a.m. on Sept. 13.

“Upon arrival we had heavy fire on three floors at 1330 74th St. and that fire extended to 1324 74th St.,” he told members of the press following the fire. “There were six people in the original fire building and six in the building to the right — all of those occupants have been accounted for at this time.”

Twelve firefighters suffered non-life threatening injuries, but no civilian injuries were reported, according to Chief Woods, who said responding units battled strong winds, an aged structure and overhead power lines that also caught fire.

“The fire was on multiple floors in both buildings, so we needed the extra manpower,” he said, adding that both Con Edison and the Department of Buildings were on the scene to address power issues and assess the stability of both buildings.

A GoFundMe page has since been set up for resident Laura Gooner, who friends say woke up in the middle of the night to a fire that destroyed her home.

Gooner and her kittens are now left to pick up the pieces, wrote the fundraising campaign’s organizer, Jenny Ward.

“The funds I am trying to raise is to help offset the initial costs of getting back on her feet in the coming weeks and hopefully aid her further into recovering from this tragedy. Hotel, food, clothing, shoes, toiletries, pet care needs, expenses of relocating, etc.,” Ward wrote. “Any amount would be greatly appreciated in this time of recovery and rebuilding her life.”

The friend said Gooner is “the first person to be there for anyone who needs her.”

“It is our time to step up when she needs us,” she said.

Just hours after the blaze broke out, at about 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13, Ward’s GoFundMe had raised over $6,000 towards a $10,000 goal.

One of Gooner’s felines, a Siamese cat named Ophelia, was initially reported missing from the blaze. She was found safe and sound inside the house hours later.

Another GoFundMe has been created for residents Ed and Marianne O’Grady, who escaped the blaze with only the clothes on their back. That online fundraiser has so far raised more than $10,000 towards a $15,000 goal as of Sunday morning. A third GoFundMe is also soliciting donations for Firefighter Piotr Orlowski.

FDNY marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze.