THE BRONX - Jurors in the ?Black Sunday? trial heard an emotional testimony Thursday from another firefighter who survived the 2005 blaze that killed two of his co-workers.
Eugene Stolowski says the injuries from the four-story fall still pain him every day. More than three years after the accident, the 37-year-old retired firefighter says he has difficulty walking and turning his head.
A fast-moving electrical fire quickly burned though the third-floor ceiling and spread to the fourth floor, incinerating walls. Stolowski says the flames completely blindsided him and the force of the heat threw him against the window.
"I went from standing in that apartment to jumping out that window in about two seconds," Stolowski said.
Prosecutors say tenants built an illegal partition inside their apartment, which blocked access to the fire escape, forcing Stolowski and five other firefighters to jump in an attempt to escape the blaze. Lt. Curtis Meyran and John Bellew did not survive the fall.
Fighting back tears at the witness stand, Stolowski recalled the moment before he and Meyran jumped out the window.
"We knew that this was it," he says. "And Meyran, at that point, he knew too."
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