Cardinal Dolan Visits Firefighters Who Responded To Deadly Bronx Blaze Last Week

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Firefighters in the Bronx who dealt with the horrific fire that killed 12 people last week were paid a visit Sunday by New York’s Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reported, the always-affable Dolan doled out hugs and hands to firefighters still reeling from one of the most trying assignments of their careers.

“Now is the time to ask for a raise if you need it,” Dolan quipped.

He said he came for all the others who could not come to show thanks and appreciation to the firefighters of Engine 88 Ladder 38.

“But we’re all saying: ‘Oh my God. I wish I could do something. I wish I could do something,’” Dolan said. “I told these guys they’re the ones doing it.”

FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard said this kind of fire in which children died is especially hard.

“These firefighters they have young kids, and it’s very hard for them to separate their home life from where they are here,” Leonard said.

The fire swept through an apartment building on Prospect Avenue and 185th Street in the Belmont section of the Bronx on Thursday. Five of the 12 people who died were children.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said late last week that >a href=””>a 3 1/2-year-old boy playing with the burners on the stove in a first floor apartment was the cause of the fire.

Nigro said the fire quickly spread up the stairs, but said there was nothing structurally about the building that was unusual.

Other than 9/11, Nigro said the blaze was “the worst loss of life from fire in almost 28 years.” He said that it was a combination of smoke and burns that killed the victims.

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