Life-saving firefighter wins James Gordon Bennett Medal, FDNY's highest honor

  • Source: new york daily news
  • Published: 06/02/2016 12:00 AM

An FDNY lieutenant who barreled into a burning Brooklyn building and pulled out a hulking man and unconscious woman was honored Wednesday with the department’s highest award. Brian Colleluori, of Ladder 174 in East Flatbush, was feted with the James Gordon Bennett Medal for his extraordinary act of bravery on Feb. 1, 2015. "I'm just very humbled to be selected for this medal,” Colleluori, 38, said after a ceremony outside City Hall. The 15-year vet didn’t hesitate before racing inside a three-story building in Canarsie as it was engulfed by a fast-moving blaze, officials said. Colleluori, after advancing 25 feet into blinding smoke, found a heavyset man unconscious. The smoke-eater managed to drag the victim to a garage where firefighters helped bring him to safety. “[Colleluori] turned back and looked at the building and saw that the fire was growing,” Mayor de Blasio said. “Literally flames — 27-foot flames were reported — shooting out of the windows. Imagine the danger, and imagine the decision the Lieutenant had to make. “Well because he is a leader in this FDNY, he made the decision to go back into the building.”


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