On September 29, 2020, Ladder Company 23 responded to a reported fire at a six-story, nonfireproof, multifamily dwelling. Upon arrival, members saw heavy fire coming out of two fifthfloor windows at the front of the building. The fire was venting onto the front fire escape, completely cutting off the secondary means of egress for the occupants. Firefighter Abraham Miller, assigned the roof position in Ladder 23, moved quickly to the roof of the building on fire.
Upon reaching the roof, Firefighter Miller began his perimeter check and immediately heard screams. Through the smoke in an open shaft on the side of the building, he saw a child being held out through a top-floor bathroom window. Firefighter Miller, working in conjunction with Ladder Company 34's roof firefighter, reported to Battalion 16 that they were commencing a roof rope rescue. Knowing the fire had engulfed the front fire escape and seeing smoke pushing under the fully ventilated bulkhead, Firefighter Miller reasoned that a rope rescue was the only option and there was no time to spare.
While tying into his personal harness, Firefighter Miller maintained contact with the frightened occupants by yelling down to them that help was on the way. He mounted the parapet, and the firefighter on the roof began lowering him without the benefit of a substantial object on which to anchor. Arriving at the window above the occupants, Firefighter Miller was met with heavy smoke, a window child gate, and an intact glass window. He calmly took hold of the child, and once he had a firm grip, he transmitted a clear message via radio to the incident commander that he had secured the victim. Firefighter Miller and the child were lowered six floors to safety.
The actions of Firefighter Miller were quick, decisive, and courageous. Overcoming numerous challenges and at great personal risk, he relied on his training and knowledge of the equipment to safely complete the rescue of a young child under extreme conditions.