FDNY Firefighter From Hellertown Part of Heroic Bronx Fire Rescue

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Matt Zimpfer Fire

Photos of FDNY firefighter Matt Zimpfer clutching a baby that was rescued from a fatal high-rise fire in the Bronx, N.Y., Sunday, are being viewed around the world. Zimpfer, a Hellertown native, is a veteran New York City firefighter and was part of a massive effort to rescue hundreds of residents trapped inside the burning building. (Credit: NYC Fire Wire/Facebook)

A Hellertown native and veteran New York City firefighter was captured participating in the rescue of an infant from a fatal high-rise fire in the Bronx Sunday.

Photos of Matthew “Matt” Zimpfer of the Fire Department of New York atop a ladder holding the baby in one arm have appeared in the New York Post, on Facebook and in other media outlets seen around the world, prompting salutations and exclamations of gratitude from his family and friends at home in the Saucon Valley on social media.

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The fire that broke out in a 19-story apartment block at 333 E. 181st Street in the Bronx’s Tremont neighborhood claimed at least 19 lives–nine of which authorities have said were children’s–and is being called the deadliest fire in New York City in more than 30 years.

The Post reported that about 200 New York firefighters responded to battle the blaze, which is being blamed on a space heater that malfunctioned inside an apartment.

The Post also reported that in addition to fighting the heat and flames caused by the fire, firefighters did so without oxygen, after their tanks were emptied during the massive response.

The photo of Zimpfer holding the baby while edging down a ladder was one of a number of dramatic rescue scenes shared on the Facebook page for NYC Fire Wire Sunday.

According to a 2019 Twitter post by the FDNY, Zimpfer is part of the department’s Engine 46 Ladder 27, which is located in the Bronx. The company is located off the Cross Bronx Expressway, a little less than a mile south of where Sunday’s fire occurred.

Zimpfer’s father, Wally Zimpfer, was the long-time Supervisor of Campus Operations at Saucon Valley School District, before retiring several years ago.

A fund has been established to assist the victims of Sunday’s tragedy by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

“Your cash donation will enable the distribution of emergency relief supplies and provide support for the victims and their families,” the donation page states. “Your entire donation will go towards helping those impacted by the fire.”

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