A Connecticut firefighter was just steps away from the Chelsea explosion, and as others ran away from the blast, he ran toward it.
Like a lot of people, Chris Duffy was terrified by the explosion; but despite his fear he wanted to help.
“It was kind of like what are the chances, that a huge city like that, that I would be in it, and be like right there,” Duffy said.
Duffy is a Windsor volunteer firefighter and EMT, who was in New York City on Saturday night. He was about 200 feet away from the blast.
“I heard a very loud explosion. It was louder than I ever heard before,” Duffy said, admitting it was scary. “I started to walk there and a cloud of I guess smoke, I walked through.”
Despite his fear, he kept moving toward the chaos because he knew his training could make a difference.
“My inner voice was like you shouldn't be here right. I didn't have any of my gear, nothing that would protect me. I wasn't sure if there'd be another explosion, and I couldn't see where it was coming from. So I wasn't sure if I was in the center of it,” Duffy said.
It turned out he was in the center of it and snapped a photo, and later learned that it was likely the epicenter of the blast.
Huge explosion in Chelsea blew this dumpster ... pic.twitter.com/1lSIGjRyC8— Chris Duffy (@voicehalf) September 18, 2016
“I feel very thankful to God that I wasn’t right there,” Duffy said.
He said it soon became clear that New York emergency responders didn’t need his help, and he’s amazed that even though dozens of people were injured, everyone will be okay.
“It sounds like everyone's been released, which is a miracle. It really is a miracle,” Duffy said.
He said he loves New York City and visits at least once a month. He’s glad police caught the man they said is responsible, but promises that his scary night won’t impact the way he lives his life.
“That's what the terrorists want for us to change our behavior,” Duffy said.
He said he believes officers were already on the scene when the explosion went off. He credits emergency responders for treating the injured almost immediately, which may have saved lives.
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