Volunteer firefighter hailed for rescuing man bound to wheelchair during Haverstraw apartment fire

Haverstraw firefighter Randy Tavarez, 29, has all those qualities and more - that's why what happened on Friday was no surprise to his fellow firefighters.

Emily Young

Jun 21, 2024, 9:54 PM

Updated 23 days ago

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A firefighter is being hailed as a hero for his brazen efforts during a fire in Haverstraw Friday morning.
"There's three things you need to be a good firefighter. You need heart, chutzpah and you need discipline" said Haverstraw Fire First Assistant Chief Christian Delisio.
Haverstraw firefighter Randy Tavarez, 29, has all those qualities and more - that's why what happened on Friday was no surprise to his fellow firefighters.
It started early this morning, when a fire broke out at 3213 Leeward Drive, a massive condo complex.
Upon arrival, they were informed there was a non-ambulatory man on the third floor.
Tavarez didn't hesitate and ran up the stairs as black, thick smoke blocked his visibility.
Police officers were waiting by the man's front door, unable to see or get in because they didn't have the right equipment​.
"I open the door, and I heard his voice he was crying for help- his voice guided me to him, and then I saw feet and a head, I went towards his bed, I grabbed him and said, 'You're coming with me,'" said Tavarez.
He carried him down the stairs to EMS waiting for him on the ground floor.
"He was alert the whole time, he was saying thank you so much, he was very grateful thankful he was scared," said Tavares.
The man is in critical condition, having inhaled too much carbon monoxide, which poisons the system, but he's alive thanks to Tavares.


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