New York News

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Hoarder dies after cluttered Queens home bursts into flames

An elderly woman known to neighbors as a “classic hoarder” was killed Monday night when flames engulfed her cluttered, “fire hazard” of a home in Queens, authorities said. The widow, who lived by herself in a two-story 252nd Street home in Jamaica, was burned in the blaze that started at about 7:30 p.m., officials said. FDNY Deputy Chief Steven Kubler acknowledged there was a “tremendous amount of clutter” in the home but stopped short of saying whether the pack-rat conditions caused the deadly blaze. “She was a classic hoarder. I’ve been inside and I got scared. Just piles and piles of newspapers. The place was a fire hazard. It was just waiting to happen, and it happened,” said neighbor Abdeel Cyril, 44. “It’s just so sad she had to leave in this way.”
New York Post

Man allegedly stole paramedic’s rescue truck from Albany Fire Department

A 28-year-old city man is accused of stealing a paramedic rescue truck from the Albany Fire Department, city police said Monday. Albany firefighters — who are also trained paramedics — were treating someone for a medical emergency at 11:25 a.m. on Hudson Avenue, between Ontario Street and Perry Place, when a man stole their parked but still running rescue truck, police said. Moments after the firefighters reported the theft, a city police officer saw Rescue 9 driving westbound on Clinton Avenue near Quail Street and tried to stop the truck.
Times Union

Utica interim fire chief resigns amid controversy

Interim Fire Chief John Kelly has resigned from his leadership position amid allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct that he conducted on fire department property. Kelly — who has more than 20 years with the department — was appointed interim chief last July to fill in for fire Chief Russell Brooks, who has been on administrative leave. He resigned Friday, the city announced Monday afternoon, but he will remain a member of the department. “I am requesting the Utica Municipal Civil Service Commission begin the process to make the examination for the next Utica Fire Chief ‘Open Competitive’ so the city can expand its search and find the most qualified candidate,” Mayor Robert Palmieri said in a statement. “I am also exploring the feasibility of appointing a new temporary fire chief during the transition period until a permanent fire chief can be appointed.”
Utica Observer-Dispatch

Woman survives being buried in Poughkeepsie building collapse

A building collapsed in Poughkeepsie Monday afternoon, trapping a woman in her first-floor dress boutique for over four hours, according to police. Poughkeepsie police say the vacant seven-story apartment building at 17 Academy St. crumbled just after 4 p.m. Part of it fell on a three-story apartment building next door, 15 Academy St. That building fell too, trapping Rotanya Hargrove inside the ground-level shop. Fire Chief Mark Johnson said the woman was awake and alert while rescuers tried to reach her. Initially, she was buried up to her waist in bricks and other debris. After several hours of work, her right leg remained pinned under a heavy object. An ambulance was ready to take her to the hospital as soon as firefighters pulled her free. The extent of her injuries was not immediately released.
News 12 Westchester

Staten Island wins funding for first FDNY squad company of its own

After years of being the only borough without its own specialized FDNY squad company, Staten Island is on its way to getting a $3.1 million boost to get a company of its own. Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson agreed to set aside $3.1 million in the city's fiscal 2019 budget, at the urging of Councilmen Joe Borelli (R-South Shore), Minority Leader Steve Matteo (R-Mid Island), and Borough President James Oddo for the new company. Squad company members are trained at expert levels to respond to hazardous material and special rescue operations. The money will fund the technical training for a five-person specialized company and about 30 new squad members, a brand new pumper-rescue truck, and auxiliary equipment needed to upgrade an existing Staten Island engine company into a specialized squad company.
Staten Island Advance

Ticonderoga firefighter charged with arson

A Ticonderoga volunteer firefighter has been charged with arson and suspended from the department for allegedly setting a barn on fire early Monday morning. The Ticonderoga Police Department said it had arrested an 18-year-old and charged him with arson. Mark Belden, patrolman with the Police Department, declined to provide the suspect’s name because he was 18 and had been granted youthful offender status. He also would not say how the fire was started, stating the incident is still under investigation. The Post-Star received a news tip that the suspect was a firefighter, and the fire chief confirmed that later Monday. “I’m embarrassed to say it was,” said Fire Chief Matthew Watts in a phone interview Monday afternoon, stating that one of the department’s firefighters was the suspect.
Glens Falls Post-Star

Monday, June 18, 2018

Officials: 20 Firefighters Hurt Battling Staten Island Blaze That Started At Fire Marshal’s House

Several firefighters were injured battling a five-alarm blaze Saturday on Staten Island. The flames broke out shortly after 7 p.m. at a fire marshal’s house on Steinway Avenue in the New Springville section. “One of the houses is one of our fire marshals’. Fortunately, his family and his baby were down at the Jersey Shore for the weekend, but he was at work to come home and find that his house was destroyed,” Chief of Department James Leonard said. Witnesses told CBS2’s Reena Roy they saw black smoke billowing into the air. “We were just in the backyard enjoying our day. Then next thing I know, I look to my left and just a big cloud, like a mushroom cloud, of black just comes out of nowhere,” neighbor Akallah Figueroa said. “It spread so quickly that it was like a plume of smoke, like huge, like a big, black cloud of smoke and it was very, very thick,” said Kristie Spielman. “I started to choke. We had to walk away a little bit.”
CBS New York

3 people injured in ambulance crash in Westchester County

Three people were injured after an ambulance flipped following a crash in Westchester County Sunday. Authorities say the ambulance rolled over on Hardscrabble Road. It collided with a Honda Accord that was traveling east as the emergency vehicle pulled out of Daniel Road. Croton Falls first assistant fire chief Trish Gallagher says there was no patient inside the ambulance, only a driver and an EMT. They were both taken to Northern Westchester Hospital with minor injuries. The female driver of the Accord was taken to Danbury Hospital and also had minor injuries. Members of the North Salem Ambulance Corp. tell News 12 that they've never seen an accident with an ambulance like this in the department's history. Firefighters also called the accident unique for the area, but remain grateful that everyone was able to walk out alive.
News 12 Westchester

FDNY commissioner sidesteps disgraced firefighter’s pooping controversy, calls arrest ‘unfortunate’

FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro stepped over a steaming pile of controversy Saturday as he deflected questions about Firefighter Joseph Cassano's pooping arrest in New Jersey. “It’s quite unfortunate,” Nigro said about the June 10 arrest where Cassano — who became a firefighter in April after he left the department in disgrace in 2013 over racist tweets — allegedly defecated on a stranger’s lawn furniture following a night of drinking in Lake Como, N.J. “We will see how it plays out. It’s all we can say now.” Cassano, the son of former FDNY Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, has been suspended by the department for 30 days. As a probationary firefighter, any kind of trouble with the law, no matter how minor, could lead to termination, officials said. “He is on an unpaid suspension and the disciplinary process is playing out,” Nigro said as he visited an open house event at Engine 307/Ladder 154 in Corona, Queens, where area residents were given free smoke detectors.
New York Daily News - Metered Site

Woman found dead after fire in Queens high-rise building, NYPD says

A 71-year-old woman was found dead early Monday after a fire in a high-rise building in Queens, police said. Firefighters responded to the fire in the building on Seagirt Avenue, between Beach Eighth and Beach Sixth streets, in Far Rockaway at about 2:10 a.m. The blaze, in a 15th-floor apartment, was under control about an hour later, the FDNY said. The woman, who was not immediately identified, was found inside the apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene, cops said. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
AM New York

Sister of 1990 Happy Land fire victim to become FDNY fire inspector

One of the city’s newest FDNY inspectors knows firsthand the devastation a fire can wreak — her sister was one of 87 people killed in the flames of the Happy Land arson nearly three decades ago. On Monday, when Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro swears in Taja Marlow as a fire prevention inspector, she’ll be thinking of her adored big sister, Kim, and everything she could have been. "She was star of the family,” said Marlow, 30, who was just 2 when Kim, the eldest of six children, died. “She took care of everyone. She was the one that kept the family together. “I feel like I’m doing this for her.” Kim Marlow was celebrating with her girlfriends at the illegal Bronx nightclub on March 25, 1990, when Julio Gonzalez was tossed out for fighting with his former girlfriend. Gonzalez returned with $1 worth of gasoline, poured it around the club’s only door and watched the place go up in flames.
New York Daily News - Metered Site

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

click to subscribe