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FF McLoughlin

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, Long Island.

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 stillness.
     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.
     Their destination--699 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 as well.
     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 superintendent’s apartment in the cellar. Engine 83 immediately transmitted a 10-75 for a fully occupied MD.
     Ladder 29’s 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 transmFF McLoughlin with members of E 83 and L 29itted 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 McLoughlin’s 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

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