A disturbing video shows New York firefighters dragging three bloodied burns victims into the lobby of a Brooklyn building and leaving them lying there without treatment for several minutes.
FDNY firefighters pulled Joshua Scurry, 25, his 53-year-old mother, Tawanna Scurry, and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Tiffany Jemmott from a burning apartment in Crown Heights on July 22.
Shocking surveillance footage from inside the apartment block shows the two women were left on the wet floor of the lobby for several minutes without medical treatment as firefighters repeatedly step over their lifeless bodies, while the man was dragged along the floor out of the building.
Former firefighters have slammed the lack of urgency from the rescue team in getting the victims much-needed emergency care, as Tawanna continues to fight for her life in ICU.
However, the FDNY chief has defended his team’s actions, crediting them with ‘saving their lives’ and insisting protocol was followed.
Firefighters responded to reports of a fire at a building at 1225 Eastern Parkwayat 6.52am on July 22.
In the video, which surfaced on social media this week, around a dozen firefighters are seen moving in and out of the lobby.
At 7.03am on the footage, two firefighters are seen carrying an unconscious and badly burned Tawanna down the stairs.
They set her motionless body on the wet floor of the lobby close to the door of the building.
The mother is left there as firefighters step around her and others hold onto hoses nearby, with none attempting to provide medical assistance.
A couple of minutes later, a firefighter is seen dragging Joshua’s limp body down the stairs.
The 25-year-old is dragged over fire hoses and water through the lobby using webbing tied under his arms outside.
Tiffany is then carried down the stairs after and set down on the lobby floor, partially on top of a hose and close to Tawanna.
At 7:06 a.m. – three minutes after Tawanna was placed on the ground and four minutes after EMTs arrived – a stretcher is brought in to the lobby and the unconscious 53-year-old is lifted onto it and carried out the lobby.
Tiffany is then also taken outside to medical staff.
FDNY records show the first ambulance arrived on the scene at 7:02 a.m.
It is not clear why the women were not taken immediately out to the waiting ambulance.
Questions are being asked over whether precious minutes were lost in administering critical emergency treatment to the victims as Tawanna continues to be in intensive care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell one month on from the fire.
Several former FDNY firefighters slammed the firefighters for being slow to seek medical help for the women.
One retired officer told Daily News that ‘every second counts’ to save a victim.
‘It’s a medical emergency – every second counts,’ the retired officer said.
‘I see no effort to get a bag on them, or do any kind of CPR, and where is EMS?
‘They should be brought outside to wherever EMS is. You don’t sit back and wait. They should have been ready to carry them outside.’
Khalid Baylor, president of the Vulcan Society, the association of black firefighters, said the footage shows a lack of care for black lives.
‘The people who are supposed to save lives are treating these black lives as if they don’t matter, dragging and dropping them,’ Baylor told Daily News.
‘The FDNY can and must do better. This incident needs to be investigated, studied and learned from so this does not happen again.
‘The FDNY needs to ensure all members are trained in victim care.’
The FDNY has defended the footage saying the team followed all the proper protocols.
‘The firefighters did go get the equipment, they did take care of them, and as a result, all three of those folks are alive,’ FDNY Chief of Operations Thomas Richardson told New York Daily News.
He insisted the firefighters were following ‘operational discipline’ during a difficult rescue that had involved them breaking through a wall in the next apartment to reach the victims.
The fire chief said the firefighters had made sure the victims were in a safe place until medical staff could reach them but admitted the video ‘may not look good’.
Joshua and Tiffany have both been released from hospital with severe burns.
Tawanna remains in critical condition.
Joshua told Daily News he was ‘devastated’ over the incident.
‘They should have at least gotten all of us a stretcher. They had our bare bodies laying on the floor,’ he said.
The fire was caused by a faulty electrical wiring, according to the FDNY.