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East Harlem Blast Victim Reunites with First Responders

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An East Harlem building explosion victim reunited with the first responders who pulled her from the rubble during a news conference Friday at Mount Sinai.

After hugging each of the first responders in attendance, Carmen Quinones spoke briefly about her recovery.

Quinones suffered cranial damage, broken bones, and cuts during last month's blast.

"Because of them I'm here, I'm working, I'm trying to get better. I had to work a lot for so many people, but most of all my Lord," Quinones said.

Quinones lost her daughter, Griselde Camacho, 45, in the explosion that leveled two buildings on Park Avenue and East 116th Street.

Eight people died, and dozens more were injured in the tragedy.

Captain Robert Morris and his team pulled Quinones from off a pile of rubble with fires burning all around.

"Very happy to see she is doing well and making a fine recovery. So yeah, makes us happy to see the effort put in again our job is to protect life," Morris said.

Doctors at Mt. Sinai Hospital called Quinones' recovery incredible.

"To hear the story that she had been in this building that collapsed and we saw the images on the news that morning and she survived that," said Dr. Jason Shapiro of Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Both doctors and firefighters credit each other for saving Quinones' life. They gave even more credit to Quinones.

"I think she's a tough person. I don't think she is going to let a building fall on her do her in," said Dr. Steven Taub of Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Quinones is scheduled to be discharged from the hospital on Monday.

With her home destroyed she will stay temporarily with her pastor.

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