A Sunnyside woman severely hurt in an apartment fire last month has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. NY1's Thalia Perez filed the following report.
It was an emotional reunion between Claudia Hernandez and the three firemen who rescued her from a fire in her apartment on October 7.
"You guys are my heroes and my angels. I will never ever forget your faces," said Hernandez.
Her heroes are Captain Thomas Regan, and firefighters Michael Paglino and Sean Cosgrove, all from Ladder Company 163 Engine 325 in Woodside.
"We forced the door as quick as we could, and luckily, we got to her when we did, because minutes could have made a difference," said Paglino.
Firefighters arrived on the scene at 42-15 43rd Avenue just before 5 a.m. and found Hernandez unconscious on the sixth floor.
Regan performed life-saving CPR.
"We had to make a decision. Do we stay there to administer CPR and wait for someone to come up to us, or do we do CPR while we transport her down to the first floor?" said Regan.
Hernandez was rushed to NYPresbyterian-Cornell, where she spent the next month recovering from third-degree burns and severe smoke inhalation.
No one else was seriously injured in the blaze.
"It just means so much. It really means a lot. I didn't know what happened," said Hernandez.
Hernandez is an avid runner and was training for the NYC Marathon at the time of the fire. She now walks with a cane and says the firemen and EMS members are her daily motivation to get better and back to running.
"I feel humble, and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I just want to cry because I know I could have died," said Hernandez.
"It's amazing. It's a miracle to see her like that, to see her OK, you know. It's a miracle," said Paglino.
While the firefighters say they were just doing their job that day, Hernandez says their selflessness went above and beyond the call of duty.