Three Firefighters Injured
During Heroic Rescue
Tragedy struck on Sunday morning when Floral Park resident John Potter was killed in a fire that occurred at his home on Clover Ave. Three firefighters were injured during the fire, two of whom have been treated and released from the hospital.
The Floral Park Fire Department responded to the call on Clover Ave. at 6:10 a.m. for a house fire with a person trapped on the second floor. According to Nassau County Police, Thomas and Donna Potter were sleeping in a first floor bedroom when they were awakened by their son John, age 35, yelling from upstairs. Thomas tried to go upstairs to the second floor to rescue his son, but was forced back by the unbearable heat and smoke. The couple then fled the house and called 911. A firefighter gained access to the second floor through a window and found John on the floor of the bedroom. A second firefighter gained access through the interior stairs and the two were able to remove him from the burning house. They performed CPR and the Stewart Manor Fire Department took the victim to Winthrop Hospital. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at 7:29 a.m. by hospital staff. Thomas and Donna Potter were not injured.
Three firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze and rescuing the victim. Of the two firefighters who were treated and released from Winthrop Hospital, one was treated for third degree burns and the other suffered back and leg injuries and is now on medical leave as a result. A third firefighter suffered heart problems as a result of his efforts and is currently in the hospital and scheduled for open-heart surgery.
In addition to the assistance from the Stewart Manor Fire Department, fire departments from neighboring Bellerose, Bellerose Terrace, Elmont, Franklin Square, and New Hyde Park also responded to the fire and added their help.
The Fire Marshal’s Office and Arson Bomb Squad responded and investigated the scene. The fire caused extensive damage to the house and the cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. According to the Floral Park Fire Department, the Fire Marshal said that the fire was most likely caused by an electrical problem, although that had not been totally confirmed at the time of this printing.