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Sunnyside Woman Thanks FDNY for Saving Her Life from 43rd Avenue fire

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Nov. 29, 2016 Staff Report

A woman seriously injured in a Sunnyside fire embraced the holiday spirit and gave thanks last week to the firefighters who saved her life.

Claudia Hernandez, a 43 year old Sunnyside resident, visited Ladder Company 163 in Woodside last Wednesday to express her gratitude for pulling her out of a fire in her home on October 7 and treating her critical injuries.

The fire broke out at 4:51 a.m. on October 7 and tore through the sixth floor of the apartment building at 42-15 43rd Avenue, the Sunnyside Post reported at the time.

The fire was an all-hands-on-deck situation, and two firefighters and two residents were injured in the blaze, Hernandez most critically.

The flames were under control by 8:38 a.m., according to authorities.

According to a report from NY1, Hernandez suffered severe smoke inhalation and third-degree burns, and was saved by the CPR performed on the scene.

“We forced the door as quick as we could, and luckily, we got to her when we did, because minutes could have made a difference,” said firefighter Michael Paglino to NY1.

In her visit last week, Hernandez expressed her thanks to the firefighters. “I feel humble, and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I just want to cry because I know I could have died,” she said to NY1.

“I’m thankful that I can be here and I can meet the firemen and just, you know, really truly look at them in the eye and say, you’re my angel. You’re my hero. Thank you for your bravery,” Hernandez said to the NY Daily News.

Hernandez had been training for the New York Marathon when she was injured in the fire, she told the Daily News, and now plans to run next year wearing all the names of the firefighters who saved her life.

“You’re living proof that everything that (paramedics) do medical-wise and everything we do from a fire side that — when it all comes together, it works out beautifully,” said firefighter Sean Cosgrove to Hernandez, reported the Daily News.

41-24 51st St, Woodside

41-24 51st St, Woodside

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Those dislikes are for the commentator,not the comments. Your a clown, and have been for a long time

Jessica Pence

Sean Cosgrove is hot!!!
This is what firefighters should be like! All pumped-up and good-skinned from frequent outdoors exercise.


Nice to see a happy story for once… Very brave firefighters who put their lives at risk to save others. Thank you FDNY


Firefighters are forever Hero’s! Touching story to see on the News. Happy that Ms. Hernandez is recovering well and everyone is fine, thank God. I’m so very thankful that I live close by to their Firehouse.God bless our Firefighters.

Andrew Hohenstein

Thank you’so much to the firemen in ladder company 163 in Woodside, specially firemen Paglino, Cosgrove and Regan for saving my aunt Claudia Hernandez life.

Liz Hohenstein

Thank so so much to much for saving my sister Claudia Hernandez’ life. Very proud of the NYC firemen who were there.


All my thanks to those people who ran into a dangerous situation to save a stranger. It could be any one of us.


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