‘A Day for Prayers': 3 FDNY Firefighters Critically Injured in Bronx Blaze

When one firefighter is seriously hurt a ripple is felt throughout the FDNY — but Tuesday it was more like a wave.

Three firefighters were critically injured in a massive inferno that ripped through five buildings in the Bronx. 

Officials say more than 170 firefighters responded to the fire which broke out at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in a two-story building on East 235th Street in Wakefield.

Fire marshals say it was caused by children playing with fire on a stove top. No one inside the building at the time was hurt. 

The fire spread to four other buildings before it was brought under control about two hours later.

Fire officials say 34-year-old Patrick Morello collapsed after suffering a severe heat stroke on the roof of a building while trying to put out flames. 

"The doctors had to bring the body temperature down, the man's temperature was extremely high," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. 

Fifty-one-year-old Joseph Brady suffered what was later determined to be a heart attack. 

Doctors were working to save 44-year-old Sean O'Rourke's arm, which was nearly severed when the fire truck he was driving crashed while en route to provide back-up support. 

All three of the men were hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Earlier in the day 54-year-old FDNY Lt. Joseph Martorell was treated and released for serious burns. 

"The conditions these firefighters work under are extremely difficult and extremely  life-threatening and they do a good job. But today it caught up with us," FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard said. 

Meanwhible, displaced residents are trying to stay positive despite losing the places they called home. 

"I just gave everything to God," said resident Sharon White. "And I feel like when the doors close or a building is burnt down, he is going to put us in something better." 

The Red Cross is helping families displaced by the fire. 

Meanwhile, the FDNY is asking for support for the three firefighters who are still hospitalized. 

"It's a day of prayers for those members," Nigro said.

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