Emergency room doctor reflects on harrowing day after deadly Bronx fire

Jim Dolan Image
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
ER doctor reflects on harrowing day after deadly Bronx fire
Jim Dolan speaks with one of the emergency room doctors who treated the injured after the tragic Bronx fire.

BRONX (WABC) -- One of the emergency room doctors who treated the wounded and injured after the tragic Bronx fire is speaking out.

At least 17 people were killed, including eight children, and more than a dozen others remain critically injured and fighting for their lives.

The emergency room at St. Barnabas Hospital has seen some harrowing and tragic days, but none like Sunday afternoon.

"I just saw a few stretchers coming in and they're doing CPR while they were coming in so you know they're critical," said Dr. Ernest Patti.

Patti works in the ER at St. Barnabas and was on duty when the first patients from the Bronx fire arrived.

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"They came in a wave ... honestly I was in the trauma bay resuscitating somebody, look out and I started seeing more stretchers coming in and started thinking ok this is going to be the real deal," he said.

That first wave of patients was just three people but they were followed by so many more. Many of them were not breathing, and many of them were children.

"The hardest part was seeing them wheel in the little ones, because you know lets face it, I'm a parent and I have three kids and you know my colleagues are all parents for the most part or at least they have big families, we all worry and it really pulls at your heart," Patti said.

Patti has seen so much over the years, but nothing can prepare you for the scope of what he and so many others saw in the ER on Sunday.

Teams of doctors and nurses and technicians worked with passion and saved lives for sure.

"Yeah we lost some people in the ED but we gave everybody the best shot we could because they're young, they came from a fire that's literally down the block there -- their our people, we treat them like we treat our own family," he said.

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