Hero Cops Save 6 From Arson Fire (picture caption)
Hero Cops Save 6
From Arson Fire
Hero 101 Precinct cops who saved six from an arson fire Wednesday were (left to right): Police Officers Joe Arguello, Ralph Jones, and Sgt. Timothy Emmett. (Not pictured were Kerry Garrecht, Louis Griffith, Kevin Murray and Robert Kane.)
By Joan Ward George
Seven of Rockaway’s "Finest", traveling in a 101 Precinct anti-crime unit van, spotted a fire on a porch in Far Rockaway Wednesday afternoon and, within minutes, rescued seven people from the quickly growing inferno at a one family dwelling located at 23-02 Cornaga avenue.
Sgt. Timothy Emmett and Police Officers Joe Arguello, Ralphg Jones Kerry Garrecht, Louis Griffith, Kevin Murray and Robert Kane were passing the Cornaga avenue home at approximately 1:10 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when, according to Sgt. Emmett, Police Officer Murray noticed that a pile of furniture was burning on a front porch of a building that they had just passed.
According to police, while immediately calling the fire department, they turned their van around and, by that time, the flames were rising almost to the roof of the two-story home. All seven police officers at the scene participated in knocking down the front door of the building. They entered the smoke filled house and were responsible for rescuing a 74 year old woman, two adult males, and three small children.
The raging inferno turned into an "all hands" fire that took firemen more than a half an hour to bring under control. Fourteen units and 62 firefighters fought the fire. Fire department officials reported 11 injuries, including Police Officers Garrecht and Griffith.
Fire Marshals Dave Winter and John Holohan declared the fire "suspicious in origin."
One of the adult men that lived in the house told police at the scene that he had been involved in a verbal fight with a man not long before the fire broke out. A description of that individual went out over police radio and Jesse Ringheiser, 42, of 13-83 McBride street, Far Rockaway, was picked up shortly thereafter at the corner of Mott and Cornaga avenues. Ringheiser was questioned at the 101 Precinct. He confessed to fire marshals and was arrested and charged with arson.