Cat Trapped on Roof for 3 Days After 3-House Astoria Fire – FDNY response: “We Don’t get Paid Enough” [Updated]

fire-engine-262-astoria-new-york-will-not-help-cat-on-burnt-house[Updated 11:23 a.m., see below in bold:] According to a post on Facebook, after three houses burnt in a fire in Astoria on March 10th, a cat is now trapped on the roof – with no assistance in sight.

Thus far, neither NYPD nor FDNY will help get the cat down. FDNY responded to would-be cat rescuers who pleaded for help: “We don’t get paid enough.”

If this isn’t a situation where “New York’s Finest” and “New York’s Bravest” should be helping out, I don’t know what is!

From online sources, the fire appears to have occurred on March 10th so this cat has been there for over 10 days.

Update: The cat has not been in the house since March 10th, thankfully; this cat is an outside cat. Five days ago, the house was opened up and the cat got inside and then they boarded it back up. She made it to the roof 3 days ago, trying to get down. This is when the FDNY refused to help.

We always hear how wonderful the Fire Department is … but not in this case in Queens:


My name is Tracy and I live in Astoria on 31st Ave. Around the corner from me on 23rd st, three houses burned over a week ago. I take care of several feral [cats], most of which I’ve been able to trap and get fixed [neutered]. One kitty has been trapped in the roof of the burned home for 3 days.

At about midnight, she emerged on the roof outside and cannot get down as it is 3 stories up. I have no way to save her. The 114th precinct said they would not help me. The fire department today told me they don’t get paid enough. I have called several news broadcasts and emailed them but no response yet.

Please help. The cat is on the roofs of 3085, 3087, and 3089 23rd St. If we could get a trap on the roof with some food, the cat would probably be in it in seconds as it [he or she] hasn’t eaten in three days.

Please help us!

The fire appears to have occurred on March 10th from this video on the scene:

FDNY 2nd Alarm in Astoria Queens on 23rd Street – Fire in the rear of two story frame attached – Three minor injuries – More photos at: #firstonscenephotos @thefirenews

Posted by on Thursday, March 10, 2016

The cat likely came up to the roof because he or she realized there is no food inside the burnt house and that might be a way out.

Isn’t the Fire Department there to rescue people and animals?

3085 23 Street Astoria as it was in February 2013
3085 23 Street Astoria as it was in February 2013

Where did the family go? Maybe they think their cat died. This could be a spot of good news for them.]

Update: This is actually an outdoor cat that Tracy Levine looks out for and the cat made his or her way in five days ago when the building was open – and now needs to get out! Still an in animal-in-distress on a roof that the Police and Fire Departments should be willing to help.


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15 thoughts on “Cat Trapped on Roof for 3 Days After 3-House Astoria Fire – FDNY response: “We Don’t get Paid Enough” [Updated]”

  1. Bombard their facebook page and let them know how ye feel,I did and I’m pissed off,if my uncle and cousin who were 1st responders were alive to day (Died 9/11) they would be ashamed to be affiliated with the NYFD,it seems $ is more important than saving a life be it a kitten/cat stuck in a tree or on top of a roof or even humans!!!!!

    Their facebook page

  2. Well well well,I just got word from a reliable source (Fire Captain in my city) that ye people are the highest paid fire fighters in this nation and ye tell us ye dont get paid enough,ye immoral greedy sods,so ye will let pets die all because of ye greed!!!!

    • Thanks, Irish, for your comments. Good points! I actually have no idea what firefighters get paid here but I would imagine their job is to save lives, of any kind, impacted by fire. It makes no sense to me. How there can be such callous disregard for a living being… just because it is a cat who lives outdoors? I am so sorry for the loss of your cousin and uncle on 9/11.

      Thanks —

      (WSP Blog)

  3. Are all those homes in the photo boarded up? Can’t the cat be lured onto one of the roofs of the other buildings? (I’m not familiar with the area.)

  4. Hi Mario, the buildings were very much impacted by the fire although I am not sure if they are entirely boarded up. Three of the buildings were involved in the fire (it looks like four are connected) and I believe enough damage was sustained that they are not accessible indoors.

    People have been able to get on the roof intermittently but, due to imperfect circumstances, and a very scared cat, so far not successful. Will update once I know, and welcome suggestions.

    Thanks for your comment & interest.


  5. Any fact check this story versus repeating facebook posts before throwing teh FDNY under the bus? Walk in any firehouse in NYC and you can be sure they have dog treats for neighborhood pets. This just seems very out of character.

  6. I have a rescue group that is willing to go and help the cat but I need confirmation from somebody that the cat is still on the roof is there any contact info that somebody can give me so I can give to the rescue group

  7. Go NYPD! ANIMALS LIVES MATTER! great job 😊
    I’m not sure how this happened where NYPD and FDNY would not help an animal in need. It is so very surprising to me.

  8. I have encountered the same lack of caring from some police officers and some fire fighters as well. If they weren’t otherwise busy, they should do their jobs, which is saving lives. LIVES. Animals are alive.
    Some attitude people have—they decide how much work they do for their paychecks.

  9. The stations by me refuse any animal retrieval mumbling something about liability. I have had to bring people in more than once to retrieve a scared animal. The Fire / Emergency / Parish do NOT give a hairy rats hiney, they are only worried about their own $$. A bit over a week ago, I walked to the street full of huge trucks and flashing lights after the 5 plus feet of water had rushed past my house had cleared. I was asked if anyone could help me. I said, “Yes, I have a cat that has been stuck in that tree since before the storm. They just looked at me funny as if I was speaking a foreign language. Also, during the flood, after the storm but before any water had receded, a boat came down the street kicking up a wake and had to be told to slow down. They were here taking pictures that were, only hours later attached to totally unrelated local and national media. A rescue boat passed by not long after asking if we needed help and I told them, Yes, I needed help getting my cat out of the tree. He had already fallen from the first tree into the flood water earlier that day. They also showed less than no interest in helping my cat. I’ve been destroyed by The Army Corp of Engineers and a catastrophic weather even in a bit more than 10 years and I am barely holding on to my sanity at times. We no longer live in a world where too many people do not want to help anyone without a compensation of some kind. What ever happened to just plain basic humanity ?? Guess it went out with the flood waters over these many years ):


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