NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – Two teenage siblings are recovering days after a fire forced them to descend to safety from their fourth-floor apartment.
The 13-year-old survivor spoke with CBS2’s Cory James on Friday about the ordeal and its impact on his family.
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“We are going to die, I love you,” Giovanny Domena told his sister just before they came out of the window of their burning apartment and climbed a pole to safety.
“I was screaming, ‘Help, help, help, help! “And I was getting electrocuted,” Giovanny said.
He said the flames started to spread through his body, burning his back, arms and hand.
Giovanny’s sister, Mariana, 19, is also recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery.
“His whole arm was white,” Giovanny said. “So basically they just did a skin chart. “
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The fire occurred in the East Village on December 16 at around 7 a.m.
Firefighters said lithium-ion batteries from an electric bicycle ignited the flames that severely injured Giovanny’s mother and killed her boyfriend.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Giovanny said. “He’s a great person.
As Giovanny grapples with the loss, he is grateful to be alive and feels lucky to have his sister and mother, who are in critical condition.
“Those for people are too important to me,” he said.
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The family are spending Christmas together in the hospital after the raging fire drove them to fight for their lives.