New Yorkers went to bed Saturday night with the tragic news that two firefighters died fighting a fire at the abandoned Deutsch Bank building at Ground Zero. Here’s how the NY Times described the tragedy:
The two firefighters became trapped in the building and died of what appeared to be cardiac arrest resulting from exposure to carbon monoxide, Mr. Bloomberg said. They were Joseph Graffagnino, 33, of Brooklyn, who had been with the department for eight years, and Robert Beddia, 53, of Staten Island. An official said he had been with the fire department 23 years and was the senior firefighter on the scene. They were taken to NYU Downtown Hospital, where they died.
And here’s how one of NY’s local papers, the Staten Island Advance, had the story:
Beddia, of Engine Company 54, and Graffagnino, who was working out of Ladder Company 5 — both of which are located in the same firehouse on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village — reportedly were trapped in the building at around 5:15 p.m.
Both were rushed to New York Downtown Hospital where doctors began efforts to revive them as soon as Fire Department rescue vehicles pulled into the emergency room.
Douglas Richardson of Westerleigh was at the medical center for foot surgery when he saw the emergency vehicles pull up carrying to the two critically-injured firefighters.
“He was choking. All the doctors tried to run out to save his life,” Richardson said of the attempts to revive Graffagnino. “He was going under, trying to cling to the doctors. He was really fighting to stay alive.”
Richardson said Beddia “died right next to me. I heard him gasping. He really didn’t want to die. It was really sad. I’m in total shock after what I saw.”
Here’s a different article from the Times:
“They were found right away, and they were pulled out,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. “Doctors said the level of carbon monoxide is at such an elevated level that it’s not surprising that they went into cardiac arrest.”
Did Times writers do anything other than listen to a Bloomberg press conference while doing their reporting?