Firefighter released from hospital after collapsing in smoky Bronx fire

Sunday, May 19, 2024
Firefighter released from hospital after Bronx fire
Kemberly Richardson has more on the firefighter's release from the hospital.

CLASON POINT, The Bronx (WABC) -- It was a hero's welcome for a firefighter who nearly lost his life on Friday.

Kevin Paulicelli was called to battle a fire in the Bronx on Friday afternoon. He was overcome by thick smoke and the effects of cyanide poisoning nearly killed him.

On Sunday, Paulicelli was focused on one thing - walking out of the hospital and showing his fellow FDNY firefighters just how much he appreciates them.

"Everyone worked together in unison, really did their job, and I'm here now because of all of them," said Paulicelli.

When asked how he was feeling, Paulicelli simply said "I'm alive."

The married father of two was battling a fire in a house in the Bronx on Friday.

Captain Richard Cudden from Engine 90 was right there with him.

"He recognized that (Paulicelli) was having trouble breathing and was the one who started to walk him out of the fire," said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.

However, Paulicelli did not make it out - he collapsed and was in respiratory arrest.

Once outside the home, two EMS lieutenants started working on him, quickly administering what the commissioner calls a 'miracle life drug.'

'Hydroxocobalamin, it is used to treat cyanide and CO poisoning which is what happens when you breathe in that heavy smoke. Typically that's what is deadly, what kills you more often than the fire itself..."

Paulicelli was treated by doctors at Jacobi - he thanked the team and each and every firefighter who came to the hospital for the tremendous show of support.

"As a firefighter, as a person, he's top-notch - the kind of person you want to have in any situation, especially a situation like that," said FDNY Captain Cudden.

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