New York News

Monday, March 19, 2018

Ferry Captain-Turned-Firefighter Who Helped Hundreds on 9/11 Dies of Illness

An FDNY firefighter who helped hundreds of people escape Lower Manhattan when he was a ferry boat captain on Sept. 11, 2001, died of a related illness, officials said. Marine Pilot Thomas Phelan of FDNY Marine Company 9 died Friday, according to officials. Phelan joined the FDNY in 2003, less than two years after he evacuated scores of people during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Phelan was working as a Statue of Liberty ferry captain during the attack and used his boat to help people escape to the other side of the Hudson River, according to New York State Sen. Martin Golden. “Thomas will always be remembered as a true New York City hero,” Golden said in a Facebook post.

2 FDNY Members Killed In Military Helicopter Crash in Western Iraq

Three of the seven people who died when a military helicopter crashed Thursday in Western Iraq were from New York, including two citizen-soldiers who also served the FDNY. Lt. Chris Raguso, a firefighter from Long Island who worked with the FDNY, was killed, along with Fire Marshal Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis. “They are truly two of New York City’s bravest – running into danger to protect and defend others, both in New York City and in combat overseas,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to their families, loved ones, and fellow service members and FDNY members.”
CBS New York

101-year-old woman recalls saving lives as volunteer firefighter during stint that spanned decades

You’ll find them running into burning buildings — but not on the payroll. When 101-year-old Julie Ryan began volunteering at the Rockaway Point firehouse in 1944, she felt she had no other choice — most of the male firefighters at the department had been drafted to fight in World War II, and someone needed to step in and hold down the fort. “All the men had to leave, that’s what happened here,” she told the Daily News from her Breezy Point home in Queens — the original Rockaway Point firehouse, built in 1909. “We used to have our drills on the floor here,” she said. “In this room itself, there was a whole fire truck.” The mother of 10, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of 11 said not a day goes by that she doesn’t reminisce about her days as a young volunteer.
New York Daily News

Manhattan: Elderly man dies in East Village apartment fire

An elderly man was killed and three people were injured when a blaze tore through a Manhattan apartment building Sunday morning, authorities said. The fire broke out just after 6 a.m. on the first floor of a six-story apartment building on East 7th Street near Avenue C, an FDNY spokeswoman said. Approximately 60 fire personnel responded to the East Village fire, where they discovered 71-year-old Barry Allen had died. Three others suffered minor injuries and were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “Shooting out of the back windows you saw flames. Lots of smoke,” said a 6th-floor resident who asked to remain anonymous. “I ran downstairs knocking on some doors. I wanted to knock on everybody’s door and get out.” The flames were under control just after 7 a.m, the spokeswoman said.
New York Post

Croghan water rescue exercise tests emergency responders, radio system

A call came in to the Lewis County dispatch center a little before 9 a.m. Saturday about two men involved in a snowmobile crash on the iced-over Beaver River near High Falls, prompting a rapid response by local emergency personnel. However, both “victims” were wearing insulated wetsuits, and reviewers from Syracuse University were on hand to evaluate both the performance of emergency personnel and the county’s nearly 2½-year-old emergency radio system. “It’s a benefit to everybody,” county Emergency Services Director Robert A. MacKenzie III said of the training session held off Old State Road in the town of Croghan. While the primary goal of the exercise was to “test protocols and our radio system,” it also gave members of the Croghan Fire Department’s cold-water rescue team and other first responders a chance to prepare for an actual water emergency, he said.
Watertown Daily Times

FDNY: Lithium-ion battery sparked fire near LIRR that caused service suspensions

The massive five-alarm fire in Queens that caused service suspensions and extensive delays on the Long Island Rail Road Friday was sparked by the improper disposal of a lithium-ion battery, the FDNY determined. The fire, which started at a recycling plant in the Hollis section around 1:10 p.m., caused service suspension on four branches. The suspensions extended into the afternoon rush. One firefighter was injured. It was formally placed under control at 8:54 a.m. Saturday, but firefighters remain on the scene as a preventive measure. LIRR service has since been restore, and the NYPD has reopened all roadways surrounding the property.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Judge denies Fire Chief Brooks’ motion to reargue lawsuit against Utica

Utica fire Chief Russell Brooks is back to Square One. A motion to reargue his lawsuit against the City of Utica — in which he claimed the city rejected an application for benefits offered to responders affected by health conditions related to 9/11 recovery efforts — was denied Thursday in state Supreme Court in Rome. Brooks has chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He is enrolled in the federal World Trade Center Health Program, which covers the fire chief’s medical costs related to his certified World Trade Center-related illnesses. Given that, Brooks said he only is seeking acknowledgement from the city that he is eligible for benefits. “I want justice,” he said. “Moreso, this will reflect on the firefighters that went down to ground zero on 9/11. At that time, some of them were very young and, to me, they’re still young. They got cancers that young guys don’t get. How can I not fight for myself and for them to get justice?”
Utica Observer-Dispatch

One dead in Chester fire

A woman was found dead in a cabin on Carl Turner Road after fire tore through the home on Thursday morning, police said. The woman’s name was not immediately released pending formal identification during an autopsy, but authorities said she was believed to be a woman in her 30s. Police believe they know her identity and that she lived in the home, but an autopsy was to be conducted at Albany Medical Center to confirm who she was and try to determine the cause of her death. Next of kin had been notified, as the woman was believed to be a longtime resident of the Chester area whose family owned the home. The fire occurred in a small cabin at 1 Carl Turner Road, near the Riverside Pines seasonal home development, and was reported just before 8:30 a.m.
Glens Falls Post-Star

Follow Up: Rensselaer house fire leads to smoke-detector investigation

After a devastating fire left three people dead and two others injured, many are now wondering if it could have been prevented and what can be done to stop it from happening again? Candles and stuffed animals still sit in front of this home on Mann Avenue. Neighbors here are still mourning the tragic loss and now one first responder is pushing for changes. The haunting images from sunday night, still on many neighbors minds. Flames destroyed the home, killing three family members who lived there and injuring two others. The scene on Tuesday afternoon is eerie and quiet. Snow blankets the vigil left behind to honor the victims. A tarp covers the much of the house. “I couldn’t believe it,” said neighbor, Esteban Onate.
News10 ABC Albany

PHOTO: NYPD truck in Columbus Circle catches fire

An NYPD truck caught fire in Columbus Circle Thursday morning, the FDNY said. Firefighters responded to the scene at about 9:10 a.m., a spokesman said, and the blaze was put out shortly before 10 a.m. A cloud of smoke could be seen billowing from the truck, parked outside the Time Warner Center, near Eighth Avenue. No one was in the truck and there were no injuries, police said. The cause of the fire was believed to be mechanical, they said.
AM New York

Yadira Arroyo, Slain Bronx EMT, To Be Remembered At Vigil

It's been nearly a year since Yadira Arroyo was killed by her own ambulance, but her onetime coworkers haven't forgotten the Bronx EMT's death. Paramedics and emergency medical workers will mark the anniversary of Arroyo's slaying Friday evening with a vigil at the site where she was run down as her alleged killer awaits trial. Arroyo, a 14-year FDNY veteran and mother of five, and another EMT were on the way to a 911 call on the evening of March 16, 2017 when they heard a man was riding on the back of their ambulance. When they got out to see what was happening, the man, Jose Gonzalez, allegedly jumped in the driver's seat, backed the ambulance into Arroyo and dragged her along as he tried to flee. Arroyo eventually died at Jacobi Medical Center.
New York City Patch

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe