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FDNY ‘Training’ Included Breaking This Guy’s Door Then Laughing About It

"This was not an emergency situation. They do not have the right to break open doors because they feel like it."

9:25 AM EST on December 8, 2023

(Noel Young / YouTube)

A local FDNY station and its firefighters have for years used a Two Bridges tenement building Noel Young manages for his dad, the owner, for training. The old building has a unique layout that makes it ideal for training purposes, and Young told Hell Gate he's never had any issues with working with the FDNY. 

Until November 30, when two firefighters, Young said, broke the building's front door, and he was given the runaround by officials, who initially denied such a thing had happened and then refused to take responsibility.

On the morning of November 30, according to an account Young posted in the /r/newyorkcity subreddit, firefighters were let in by one of the building's tenants. They conducted their training and left, Young wrote, closing the front door, which locked the door behind them. Then at 11:09 a.m., he wrote, two firefighters somewhat perplexingly came back and began "casually prying the door," leaving it bent and disfigured and unable to lock. Before they began trying to open the door, one of the two had "look[ed back over his shoulder before beginning as if to check if the coast is clear," Young wrote.  

How did he know this? Young caught the whole thing on his security camera.

Young then tried to get answers from the Fire Department about what the hell happened. At first, he said, one Lieutenant Morgan at the local FDNY station denied firefighters were even responsible for how fucked up Young's door was, and tried to claim the door must have been broken before they got there. 

But when confronted with a still photo from the security camera footage, Young said that the lieutenant admitted it was possible that the firefighters pried the door open, but not definitively proven. Morgan, according to Young, called the incident "unfortunate," but still refused to take responsibility and told him to take it up with the comptroller.

Young then reported the incident to the FDNY's confidential tips line. 

"I tried calling it. The response was a lot better. I spoke to an investigator. He told me he would write it up," he told Hell Gate. According to Young, while the investigator told him that while it "shouldn't have happened," they also said that in "certain situations" the FDNY has the right to enter a building with force, even if it's not an emergency.

But what are those certain situations? And how exactly did the situation at Young's apartment, where a training had seemingly already concluded, and where the firefighters in question seemed to check that the coast was clear before gleefully fucking Young's door up, fit into those exceptions? Young told Hell Gate neither the investigator nor the lieutenant could tell him, but it seems like something they should be able to articulate!

The equivocation is what's really sticking in Young's craw, he told Hell Gate. "Stuff happens all the time, but in the end, it's all about your response," Young said. As for his dad, who actually owns the building, Young says he was furious. "He was very upset," Young said. "'How could the government get away with this,' was what he said."

We reached out to the FDNY about the incident at Young's building, and they responded that the incident is under investigation.

Updated (12/8/23, 2:20 p.m.) This story has been updated with FDNY's response to our request for comment.

—Adlan Jackson

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