2008-11-21 / Top Stories

Cops Rescue Reluctant Tenant In 'Suspicious' Fire

By Howard Schwach

Sergeant William Conway, who suffered from smoke inhalation while attempting to rescue a reported second victim of the fire, is readied for transport to Peninsula Hospital Center. The reported second victim was later determined to be nonexistent.  Sergeant William Conway, who suffered from smoke inhalation while attempting to rescue a reported second victim of the fire, is readied for transport to Peninsula Hospital Center. The reported second victim was later determined to be nonexistent. Cops who were working on a precinct larceny investigation at 82-02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard on November 11 helped to rescue a woman trapped in a fire, even though she didn't want to be rescued, police sources say.

Police officers Corey Fink and Jessica Alvarado were in the Hammel Houses building as part of an ongoing investigation involved with pawn shops, when a resident informed them that there was a fire in apartment 6A.

The two rushed to the sixth floor and confirmed that the apartment was on fire. They called for backup and fire department response.

"The two police officers were met with a working fire and a heavy smoke condition," a police department source said. "They knocked on the door to the apartment, but the tenant refused to open the door and come out."

The sixth floor apartment fire in the Hammel Houses public housing complex. The sixth floor apartment fire in the Hammel Houses public housing complex. Police identified the woman as Ernestine Burns, 53. They say she locked the door and refused to allow police or firefighters into the apartment.

Lieutenant James Marron, assigned to the 100 Precinct, and Sergeant Brian Stamm and other officers finally forced their way into the apartment and removed Burns from danger.

While they were saving her from the fire, Burns claimed that there was another person in the apartment.

Marron, Stamm, Sergeant William Conway, assigned to Transit District 23, and Police Officer Phil Clemens crawled into the apartment but found no other person.

Firefighters from Engine 121 responded and took over the search, but found nobody in the apartment.

The fire was quickly put under control.

Responding police units from the 100 Precinct and Transit District 23 went to nearby apartments, evacuating the tenants at about 9 p.m.

Burns was taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital, where she was deemed to be emotionally disturbed, officials say.

Sergeant Conway and Police Officer Fink were transported to the Peninsula Hospital Center, where they were treated for smoke inhalation and released.

At about 9:40 p.m. the building was declared safe and tenants were allowed to reenter their apartments.

The fire was deemed suspicious by fire department officials on the scene and fire marshals are investigating.

Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History

 

 

Check Out News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Riding the Wave with Mark Healey on BlogTalkRadio