FDNY Captain Theodore J. Conroy
Bravest Awards Dinner Capt. Theodore J. Conroy
Assigned to Ladder Co. 61, Working in Ladder Co. 39 By Nick Graziano
At a few minutes after 5 am on August 17, 2019, Engine Co. 63, Ladder Co. 39 and Battalion 15 received a run for a phone alarm reporting fire in a private dwelling in the northern Bronx. While the units were responding the Bronx dispatcher informed them there were reports of people trapped. When the companies arrived at the location there was dense black smoke pushing from the house and fire coming out from around the front door. Capt. Conroy was met in front of the house by a man who informed him that his wife was trapped on the top floor. At the same time Capt. Conroy heard the woman screaming and saw her at a window on the top floor. He ordered Ladder 39’s outside vent FF Robert Painter and ladder company chauffeur FF Tony Cicero to use a portable ladder to try and reach the woman from the outside. At the same time Capt. Conroy and the inside team of FF David Cutrone (irons) and James McConville (can) would try to get to the woman from the inside. FFs Cutrone and McConville began the task of gaining entry into the house which was difficult even though the front door was open. A daybed frame and clutter were blocking the entrance. FFs Cutrone and McConville removed the clutter and bedframe while heavy fire was coming out from the entrance. Once the clutter was removed Capt. Conroy and the two inside team firefighters gained entry to the house by going through the fire and smoke.
Capt. Conroy directed FF McConville to use the extinguisher to hold the fire while he attempted to locate the stairs to the upper floors. Capt. Conroy worked in the neighborhood for most of his career and thought the stairs would be on the left side of the house. The stairs were quickly located and Capt. Conroy and FF Cutrone made their way to the top floor to search for the woman while fire was rolling over their heads. The main body of fire was by the front entrance and was extending up the interior stairs.
On the top floor Capt. Conroy and FF Cutrone encountered high heat and a heavy smoke condition which meant they had to conduct their search in zero visibility. At this time Engine Co. 63 was in the process of stretching the first hoseline and it was not yet in operation to extinguish the fire. Capt. Conroy knew that time was limited and he made a push to the bedroom to locate the trapped woman. He heard the woman coughing and calling for help and searched in that direction. Capt. Conroy located the woman by the window in one of the bedrooms, pulled her back into the room, and transmitted the 10-45 code to the chief outside. He carried the woman out of the bedroom and met up with FF Cutrone, who knew where the stairs were. Capt. Conroy carried the woman down the stairs, past the fire, and out of the burning house. Capt. Conroy and FF Cutrone used their bodies to protect the woman from further injuries as they removed her to the sidewalk. As they were removing the woman, Engine Co. 63 was advancing the hoseline into the dwelling to extinguish the fire. For his actions in saving the life of a woman trapped in a highheat and heavy smoke condition while working in Ladder Co. 39, Capt. Theodore J. Conroy of Ladder Co. 61 is being honored at the Bravest Awards Dinner.