A recent fire in Coney Island killed one veteran NYPD officer and critically injured another. Both officers suffered severe smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation, which ultimately caused one officer to fall into coma while the other struggled to survive in the burn unit. The fire was allegedly set by a local teenager.
One officer, a father of four, died at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, two days after responding to a fire in Coney Island. His partner is still critically injured in New York Presbyterian’s burn unit. Both officers took an elevator to the 13th floor to warn residents and help evacuate the building, but when they emerged from the elevator they were overcome by smoke.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had visited them one day earlier, made an official statement regarding his death, stating: “We’ve lost a good man. A very brave police officer ... who did something that most of us wouldn’t know how to do: He went selflessly toward the flames.”
A Coney Island teenager, has been charged with starting the blaze and was arrested quickly afterwards on assault, reckless endangerment and arson charges in connection with the fire. The teen admitted to police that the fire originated from a mattress in the building, which he lit on fire because he was “bored.” In the wake of the officer’s death, the teen may now face charges that could include murder as the police force presses for the stiffest possible punishment. Five others suffered minor injuries, including two NYFD firefighters.
The tragedy of this housing fire illustrates just how catastrophic fires can be, especially those set by arson. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a fire, it is crucial that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled attorney can afford you the representation you deserve and will defend your legal rights.