CHELSEA (CBS) – 96-year-old Charles Lanzillo is counting his blessings after a kitchen fire ripped through his third-floor apartment Friday morning at Chelsea Village.
With smoke filling up fast, Charles was stuck inside when the blaze broke out around 9:30 a.m. at the apartment building on Admiral's Way.
"All of a sudden I hear this big explosion and I see fire, smoke and everybody just panicked," he said.
Joan Lanzillo, Charles' daughter, says on Friday some workers were remodeling her dad's kitchen when some of the materials they were using caught fire.
"All of a sudden we hear this big explosion and we looked and the whole kitchen was on fire," she says.
"The black smoke was all over the kitchen and living room area," Joan said.
The apartment was being renovated which is why the refrigerator was temporarily blocking the front door. Joan quickly decided to move the big appliance herself.
"The adrenaline puts you in a frame of mind (where) my only concern was to get my dad out of there," she said.
Charles says he could not believe his eyes.
"My daughter was right there and she picked that refrigerator up as if it was a two-pound bag of flower,"
The Chelsea Village owners provided Charles with a new apartment. He thanked both of his daughters for their love and support.
"She saved my life," Charles said. "I've never seen so much fire and smoke."
A firefighter was hurt battling the blaze.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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