New York News

Friday, July 13, 2018

Utica firefighters speak against open search for new chief

Andre Esposito, chairman of Utica’s Civil Service Commission, believes the board has a tough decision to make within the next few months. The commission is considering a request from Mayor Robert Palmieri to authorize an open competitive exam to vet candidates for Utica’s next fire chief. This would open up the test to internal and external candidates for a fire department historically led by internal promotion. Esposito and Civil Service Commissioners Teresa Wojnas and Dietra Harvey will have to weigh that against the opinions of top fire officials in Utica and nearby cities as well as several local elected officials who believe the Utica Fire Department has enough worthy candidates within its ranks. Several of those dissenting opinions were voiced Thursday’s Civil Service Commission meeting. The commission did not decide on the matter Thursday. The board will meet next Wednesday, Aug. 15.
Utica Observer-Dispatch

Oneonta Fire Department names new captain

A longtime firefighter started as a captain in the Oneonta Fire Department on Thursday. J. Michael Mancini, 51, was promoted by the Oneonta Common Council last week. Mancini has “great management skills” and is the department's lead fire investigator, according to Jim Maloney, assistant chief, who said Mancini's seniority and service as a crew leader also were factors leading to his promotion. “He has a lot of good experience,” Maloney said Thursday. Mancini succeeds Tom DiMartin, who retired recently after almost 35 years with OFD, Maloney said. Mancini, an Oneonta town resident, was chosen among four in-house applicants interviewed for the captain position after Civil Service exam results were received, Maloney said. Mancini had been at the top of the firefighter pay scale, earning a base salary of $55,109, according to city officials, who said base pay for a first-year captain is $59,475.
Oneonta Daily Star

Scholarship to honor late Franklin Square chief

Family members, friends and fellow firefighters of former Chief John “Jack” Schilt gathered last Sunday at the Franklin Square & Munson Firehouse on Liberty Place, in Franklin Square, to honor Schilt’s more than 60 years of service to the Fire Department with a new scholarship in his name. With donations from the chief’s family, the John “Jack” Schilt Memorial Scholarship Fund will award $600 to a high school senior who is a child, sibling or grandchild of a current or former member of the department, or of the Exempt Association or Ladies Auxiliary. Members of Fire Service Exploring, a service-oriented branch of the Boy Scouts of America, are also eligible.
Elmont Herald

Chief stresses fire risks after deadly blaze in Esopus

When a smoke alarm sounds, it’s imperative to “get out and stay out,” Esopus Fire Chief William Freer said Thursday. Freer, who has been fighting fires for 20 years and works as a fire-prevention specialist for the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in Poughkeepsie, said a deadly blaze in Esopus on Tuesday was the “second fatal fire in our district that I’ve had to go through.” More often than not, he said, people who die in fires hesitate before leaving, go back inside to retrieve property, fail to maintain smoke alarms or haven’t planned two safe escape routes. According to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the man who died in the early morning house fire Tuesday at 719 Old Post Road remained in the structure to retrieve items after the smoke alarm went off.
Kingston Daily Freeman

Woman allegedly sets roommate on fire at Queens homeless shelter

A resident of a women’s homeless shelter in Queens was set on fire by her crazed roommate at the facility and left critically injured from the vicious attack, police said. The horrific incident happened when the victim, 51, and a younger woman got into an argument around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on the third floor of Pam’s Place shelter — formerly the Verve Hotel on 29th Street in Long Island City, cops said. The dispute went on for a few minutes before the aggressor dumped highly flammable nail polish remover on the victim and lit her ablaze, authorities said. The victim was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in critical condition, according to officials. Her attacker, described by cops as about 33 years old, 5 feet 7 and 130 pounds, fled and remains at large. Police say the victim and the suspect know each other.
New York Post

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Hague Firefighter Falls Ill at Parade and Dies

A veteran firefighter in a small northeastern New York community near the Vermont border died on Independence Day after falling ill during a parade. The U.S. Fire Administration on Thursday announced the line-of-duty death of Hague Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Michael F. Cherubini, who was riding on a brush truck in a parade on the Fourth of July in a neighboring town when he fell ill. Cherubini's wife, who is also a member of the Hague department, was the driver of the apparatus and immediately drove home with her 71-year-old husband, who collapsed soon after his wife helped him inside their home. Although the USFA says Cherubini served for 10 years with the Hague Fire Department, an obituary says the New Jersey native spent 50 years as a volunteer firefighter with most of that time in Hackensack and South Hackensack where he served as both a captain and chief. A U.S. Army veteran who fought in the Vietnam War, Cherubini is survived by his wife of 39 years, Maureen, five sons and eight grandchildren.

Update: Hagerman firefighters found not guilty in catering hall assault case

The three Hagerman Fire Department members who faced assault charges stemming from a March 3 fight that pitted members of the fire department against a wedding party at East Wind Caterers in Wading River were all found not guilty by a jury in Riverhead Town Justice Court Monday. Firefighters Andrew Dunham, Brendan Dunham and Corey Citarella of East Patchogue had all been charged with third-degree assault, and Andrew Dunham was additionally charged with second-degree harassment. The groom, Robert Kraham of Kings Park, suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and other injuries and was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center following the midnight brawl. He said in court that he was knocked unconscious for about 30 seconds.
Riverhead News Review

Legal papers suggest FDNY coverup in probe of fatal Harlem fire on Edward Norton set

A top FDNY fire marshal torched an underling for suggesting actor Edward Norton’s production company caused a raging Harlem fire that killed a veteran firefighter. A three-page notice of claim filed Wednesday charged FDNY investigator Scott Specht “was summarily removed from the (case) and was subjected to a pattern of harassment” as his boss allowed “the Hollywood elite” behind the movie to dodge “a full and fair investigation.” The March 22 blaze killed Firefighter Michael Davidson, a 15-year veteran and father of four. Specht landed on the outside looking in after reporting that he was “misled” by the production company about combustible material used on the set at St. Nicholas Ave. and W. 149th St..
New York Daily News

At least three escape from burning Watertown apartment complex

At least three people escaped a burning residence on Gotham Street Wednesday, according to a witness. John M. English-Monica said he saw the fire spewing from the roof of 540 Gotham St. at about 2:30 p.m. from a few houses away and three to four people sprinting from the building. Four people were outside near the building when Mr. English-Monica saw the blaze, he said, including an infant and a boy no older than 10. “I heard a woman screaming ‘Oh my god,’” he said, adding that he and others called 911. Fire Chief Dale C. Herman said he knew of at least one individual who was inside the two-apartment complex and saw a glowing light coming from a bedroom around the time of the fire. The chief was not aware if anyone needed medical treatment, although Guilfoyle ambulance waited on standby.
Watertown Daily Times

Arson arrest made in fire at old Cattaraugus elementary school

An arrest has been made in connection with last month’s suspicious fire at the abandoned Cattaraugus elementary school building. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday it charged a 20-year-old Cattaraugus man at 2 p.m. Monday following an investigation by both its Criminal Bureau and the Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team into the June 24 blaze. Gage W. Weyrough, 20, of 34 Jefferson St., Cattaraugus, is facing charges of third-degree arson, a class C felony; third-degree burglary, a class D felony; and third-degree criminal mischief, a class E felony. He was arraigned in New Albion Town Court and remanded to Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Olean Times Herald

Cutchogue Fire Department members honored for their service

Six members of the Cutchogue Fire Department Fire Police Squad were honored for their continued service to the department and the community at United Fire Company No. 1’s June meeting. Douglas Kronenberg, the Region 7 Director from the Volunteer Fire Police Association of the State of New York, was on hand to make a special presentation to honor members who have served the community for more than 50 years and have been members of the Fire Police Squad for at least 5 years. The members represent a total of 359 years of combined service to the department.
Suffolk Times

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