Laura Walker fondly remembers her father regaling her with stories about fighting fires in Dix Hills.
“I always grew up with him going to a fire or a rescue call. He loved the fire department. That was his absolute love,” said Walker, daughter of Fred Kuhne, a founding member of the Dix Hills Fire Department. Kuhne died Dec. 20 at the age of 88 after years of battling health complications.
He was the last surviving charter member of the original 40 residents who founded the volunteer fire department in Dix Hills in 1947.
Walker, 62 of Orlando, Fla., said through tears, her dad’s dedication to fighting fires propelled her to a profession that also helps people. “When we were kids, he would come home from a fire call, a rescue call, and he would tell us stuff about it. And I would think, ‘That’s really cool, he saved someone’s life.’ I want to do that and that’s why I became a nurse,” she said.
A Peekskill man is going to prison for intentionally setting his Newburgh business on fire while someone else was in living in apartment above.
Jesus Cruz, 44, was sentenced to 17 years in state prison in Orange County Court on Tuesday.
The incident dates back to Sept. 22, 2017, when prosecutors said Cruz lit his bodega on fire while there was a tenant living in an apartment above the business.
“This defendant intentionally placed at grave risk the tenant of that building, the brave firefighters who responded to the fire, as well as others in the vicinity, and clearly deserved a severe prison sentence,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said in a statement. “Arson, particularly when it occurs in a densely populated urban area, is an incredibly dangerous crime. To endanger the lives of others, whether for spite or for financial reward, is something that cannot be tolerated.
NY Journal News (Lohud.com)
A 41-year-old Monsey volunteer firefighter who became a respected Rockland voice on fire prevention faces multiple fraud charges for working several jobs while out on disability and accepting more than $100,000 in state benefits.
Raphael Ziegler, the Monsey Fire Department president and a former New Hempstead fire inspector, took state worker's compensation payments while out on disability and working other jobs, authorities said Thursday.
He also accepted Medicaid payments for his transportation business after not providing his employees with required workers compensation, state Inspector General Leahy Scott said Thursday in a joint news release with acting Rockland District Attorney Kevin Gilleece. “These charges lay out this defendant’s myriad schemes to conceal and defraud his way to six-figures in ill-gotten gains,” Scott said. “The Workers’ Compensation and Medicaid systems are both critical safety nets in our state, and any theft from or abuse of those programs will not be tolerated.”
NY Journal News (Lohud.com)
A gas heater in the basement caused the fire and explosion at a house on Elmwood Avenue Wednesday night, village police said.
Chief Roland Nenni said the owner of the house, Vincenzo Spampanato, 81, was performing maintenance on the heater when it exploded, resulting in a fire that destroyed the house.
Spampanato and his wife, Felicia Spampanato, 72, suffered severe burns to their upper bodies. He was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. His wife was taken by ambulance to Strong, where both were originally in critical condition. On Thursday, they were listed in guarded condition in intensive care, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The fire was reported at 6:21 p.m. Police arrived minutes later and found both Spampanatos on the front yard.
Batavia Daily News
On Thursday night, New York Fire Department firefighter Frank Sansonetti is set to debut on NBC’s “Titan Games,” hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The series is a sports competition consisting of 10 episodes, with each episode crowning two Titans – one male and one female.
Each week, the reigning Titans will take on new competitors, producing, at the end of the series, an ultimate male and female “Titan.”
At 40, Sansonetti is the oldest male competitor on the show, in a group of elite athletes. He hasn’t honed his athletic build solely for television competitions, however. For more than 15 years, Sansonetti has served as a member of the FDNY, and previously served as a police officer with the NYPD.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Sansonetti was attending the New York Police Academy when terrorists struck the World Trade Center towers. Sansonetti and his fellow cadets rushed to the scene to assist their future fellow officers.
The person killed in an Auburn house fire early Tuesday morning was the property's owner.
Valerie Usowski, 42, was the owner of the home destroyed in the blaze at 47 Pulsifer Drive, the Auburn Police Department said Thursday afternoon upon receiving identification confirmation from the Onondaga County Medical Examiner's Office.
The Auburn Fire Department was at the home within a minute of being dispatched around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, but the house was fully engulfed in flames at the time. A rescue operation could not be attempted, and after the fire was under control, responders discovered a deceased person who was believed to be the home's lone occupant. The fire's cause remains under investigation, with the Auburn Police Department, Auburn Fire Department and State Office of Fire Prevention involved.
Olean Times Herald