Con Ed workers rescue women from Mount Vernon fire

May 2, 2013 6:57:35 AM PDT
Four Con Edison workers are being praised as heroes after they leaped into action to save two women from a fire Wednesday.

Richard Blanco, a 31 year-old company lineman, and colleagues Joshua Kruse, Charles Nunez and Matthew Mullins, rescued the pair from a burning apartment house in Mount Vernon.

The crew was replacing poles damaged by Hurricane Sandy on Route 22 when they heard shattering glass and smelled smoke. They spotted a four-story building nearby belching smoke and flames from the top floor.

"We ran over to the building and noticed that the fire escape was too high to reach, so I picked up Josh who was able to reach the ladder and pull it down for us to climb," said Blanco, a 6-year veteran.

While Nunez directed from the ground, Blanco, Kruse and Mullins started to climb up the ladder, banging on windows as they passed. They found an open window and two women, who were unaware of the danger. They assisted the women out of the window, while Mullins helped them down the ladder.

Blanco and Kruse then climbed through the apartment and headed out into the main hallway, banging on every door to let residents know that they needed to get out.

"The atmosphere was smoky and you could smell fire and feel the intense heat as we went door- to-door," Blanco said.

Luckily, there were no other people in the building. The duo finally made it out safely and met arriving Mount Vernon firefighters. The company crew briefed them on the building before cutting electrical service.

"We were just happy to be able to help these two women out to safety," Blanco said.