Horia Cretan: I just kicked in – I kicked in gear. … I did the best I could.” Raw video below.
Before FDNY Ladder 47 arrived to a Bronx apartment fire (1418 Zerega Ave. in Westchester Square), passerby Horia Cretan, rushed up the fire escape and forced open a window to apartment on Wednesday. Cretan is the owner of All Wayz Variety — a first floor retail store below the apartment fire. He tried to save 4-year-old boy, who was breathing through a two-inch gap in an open window of a fourth floor apartment. He encouraged the boy to breathe through the window gap. He couldn’t get to the boy until FDNY firefighter James Senk climbed up a fire department ladder and went into the building with self-contained breathing apparatus to allow him to breathe clean air in the thick smoke. The firefighter came back to the window after a primary search (finding the boy a short distance — about 10 feet from the window). FDNY firefighter Jimmy Swenk then handed Horia Cretan the boy. Cretan rushed the boy down a fire escape.
Horia Cretan saw that 4-year-old boy’s mouth was obstructed when he noticed that the boy’s head fell back. He lowered the boy to the platform of the fire escape, and cleared his mouth with the corner of a blanket. He then pumped on the boy’s chest three times when he saw that the boy wasn’t breathing. The boy then began to breathe. He then took the fire escape down to a lower floor and handed the boy to firefighters who were waiting in a floor below the fire.
Horia Cretan never took a CPR class. He performed CPR as best as he could from what he has seen on television. The boy’s life was saved.
FDNY brought the apartment fire under control in about 40 minutes.
More video coverage of Horia Cretan and James Senk rescue of 4-year-old boy from New York …
Raw video on YouTube shows boy breathing on stretcher at street level, and more firefighting operations.
View Larger Google Street view showing the apartment building that was struck by fire and the retail first floor below the fire — All Wayz Variety (formerly Vagieka Deli Grocery).
View Famous Rescues & FD Operations Worldwide in a larger map. Neighborhood map near apartment fire where 4-year-old boy was rescued from a burning apartment building.