PIX 11 News got exclusive access to training for firefighters on how they respond to so-called “clutter fires.”
“It makes things a lot more difficult,” said Ray Coyle, an FDNY Fire Captain. “We’re worried about things falling on us. It delays us searching for someone and it delays us getting water on the fire.”
The training exercise takes place at the fire academy on Randall’s Island.
At least two deadly fires in January had clutter conditions, according to the FDNY.
A four-alarm blaze in Jamaica Queens took the life of a 40-year-old woman in Queens – injuring this 5-month-old baby and his mother - it was marked as a medium clutter condition.
And 84-year old Ruth Andrade was killed when a late-night fire ripped through the home, which was marked as having heavy clutter.
“If you’re going to have an issue getting out in a non-emergency fire scenario,” said Carlos Monroe, an FDNY Lieutenant. “it’s going to be that much harder for us to get to you in an emergency scenario.”