Firefighter John K. McLoughlin
Engine Company 4
(Detailed to Engine Company 83)
December 19, 1999,
0155 hours, Box 75-2142, 699 East 137th Street, Bronx
Appointed to the FDNY on April 30, 1997. Previously
assigned to Engines 4 and 83 and Ladder 138. Member
of the Emerald Society. Cited for bravery once previously.
Holds a BS degree in Finance from C.W. Post College.
Brother, Brendan, is assigned to L-134. Has three
cousins on the job; Eamonn, E-38, Frank Macchia, L-43,
and George Glenday, L-103. Resides in Long Beach,
Da Bums on da Hill, as the Brothers at Engine 83
and Ladder 29 are affectionately known, were looking
forward to the coming holidays and the members in
the South Bronx quarters were in a festive mood. FF
John McLoughlin, rotated to Engine 83, but working
a mutual with a member of Ladder 29, was well into
his 6-x-9 tour of December 18, 1999, when at 0155
hours on December 19, the tone alarm shattered the
Both companies were
ordered to respond first-due to Box 2142, Cypress
Avenue and 137th Street. As they cleared their 138th
Street quarters, the unmistakable smell of a job
was in the air. There is no mistaking the odor of
burning wood, paint and plaster.
East 137th Street--was right around the corner and
typical of the buildings in the area. The fire building
was a non-fireproof, five-story, brick, 40- x 75-foot
MD (multiple dwelling), chock-full of almost every
known combustible and--at that hour--full of people
When Ladder 29 arrived,
they were met with heavy smoke and heat pushing from
the cellar and first floor. Civilians in the street
were screaming that people were trapped in the superintendents
apartment in the cellar. Engine 83 immediately transmitted
a 10-75 for a fully occupied MD.
Ladder 29s FE
(forcible entry) team, consisting of FF John McLoughlin
(irons man) and FF Charles White (can man), started
forcing the front entry door to the basement, while
Lieutenant Reilly Ladder 29 looked for an alternate
means into the apartment. After forcing entry into
the building, FF McLoughlin and Lieutenant Langdon
Engine 83, in zero visibility and extreme heat, made
their way to the apartment door, which was locked.
Upon forcing the door,
FF McLoughlin was met with a blast of super-heated
gases that drove him to his knees. Without the protection
of a covering line, FF McLoughlin, on his hands and
knees, was the first one through the apartment door
and went to the left.
Lieutenant Langdon called
for a line and while it was being stretched, he initiated
a search to the right rear of the apartment. The possibility
of a flashover was great. Crawling along the apartment
wall, with sub-zero visibility and blistering heat
conditions, FF McLoughlin encountered many obstacles
in locating the bedrooms where the victims were reported
to be trapped.
Crawling through a bedroom
door, the firefighter felt the body of an unconscious
infant on the floor. He immediately transmitted
a 10-45. Unable to locate a window in the room because
of the blinding smoke, he realized he had to remove
the victim via the interior by retracing his route
back through the well-involved living room. Shielding
and cradling the baby in his arms, FF McLoughlin made
his way out of the apartment and to the street.
The victim was removed
from the scene and admitted to Jacobi Hospital.
FF McLoughlin, unaided
and without the benefit of a covering hose-line, saved
the life of this critically injured infant. The firefighter
prevented the child from suffering the fate of her
father, who died of his injuries three days later.
FF McLoughlins actions, performed under great
personal risk, were in the highest traditions of the
Fire Department, City of New York. FDNY takes great
pride and pleasure today in honoring FF John McLoughlin.--GA
to Medal Day 2000 Index ]]