Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski (D-New City) announced the Assembly adopted a resolution honoring Ian Mackey, Lee Stipek, Kenneth Patterson and Gerald Knapp, the heroic men who were first to respond to the scene of the life-threatening on Jan. 16.
“The heroic actions of these brave men saved countless lives that day,” Zebrowski said. “They put their lives on the line without hesitation, running right into the heart of the danger to save innocent lives. For that, they deserve special recognition.”
Responding to the emergency call, Mackey and Stipek from Orange & Rockland Utilities went immediately to work shutting off the dangerous gas lines, while West Haverstraw firefighters Patterson and Knapp went door to door evacuating residents from their homes.
“I commend and thank these men for their courage and determined efforts to shut off the gas line and safely evacuate those in danger,” Zebrowski said. “Not only were they successful in saving lives, but they were able to prevent further potential explosions and serious injuries.”
During their efforts to evacuate a house on Zarriello Lane, Patterson and Knapp were projected almost 40 feet in the air after the home exploded. Both were seriously injured. The explosion also injured Mackey and Stipek, and all four men required hospitalization.
Zebrowski noted how fortunate the community is to have brave individuals such as those who responded to the explosion who help to protect families.