An FDNY lieutenant “lucky” to be alive after he was injured in a massive fire on Staten Island was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Lt. Bill Doody of Ladder 84 was escorted out of Staten Island University Hospital North as friends, family, colleagues and hospital staff erupted in applause and well wishes.
“All the brothers who pulled me out of the fire and brought me here, all the guys who cooked, the guys who came, all the well wishes and prayers, it’s absolutely overwhelming.” Doody said with his family next to him.
He was one of three seriously injured firefighters in the inferno that destroyed a pair of homes in a Staten Island duplex on Shotwell Ave. near Waring Ave. in Arden Heights on Feb. 17, authorities said.
All three were taken to the Staten Island hospital.
“I can’t say enough about the care they provide across our department when we have members here, which unfortunately is quite frequent,” FDNY Department Chief John Hodgens said outside the hospital Wednesday. “Billy was one of the most seriously injured members (and) today is a great day when he gets out of the hospital.”
Doody underwent two surgeries while hospitalized, including skin grafts.
“Firefighter Doody is very lucky, he was literally standing in the middle of a burst of flames,” said Dr. Michael Leslie Cooper, a plastic surgeon affiliated with the hospital. “The recovery was not easy. There is a lot of pain associated with removing the burned tissue.”
The fire last month, which was bolstered by high winds on the wintry day, left 19 other firefighters with minor injuries.
“My joke is that if I knew I would have been treated so well, I would have been burned years ago,” Doody quipped.