Massive NYC fire puts 14 cops in the hospital

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THE BRONX, N.Y. – A massive blaze that broke out Tuesday night in the Bronx has left a number of first responders injured, with a reported 14 police officers being sent to the hospital.

Reports said that more than 100 firefighters descended on the scorching apartment building to rescue those inside and put out the flames.  

Emergency crews were alerted to the two-alarm fire on Baychester Avenue in the Wakefield section of the Bronx just before midnight, NBC Connecticut reported

As firefighters and police officers arrived at the scene, they say the building was quickly filling up with thick smoke, forcing a hurried evacuation from the apartments inside.

“I saw flames just gushing out,” resident Harold Bonet told News 4 about the inferno.

Police and other emergency responders were successful in getting everyone out of the building, and while the initial amount of reported injuries to civilian residents was eight, that number was eventually said to only be about one or two. 

 

However, during the hour-long firefight, 14 police officers suffered from smoke inhalation as they ran door-to-door alerting residents to flee the building. They  were transported to nearby hospitals for medical attention. Additional injuries from the incident were said to be relatively minor. 

Police say that two families have been displaced by the fire, which was extinguished in only about an hour. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. 

Two months ago, police and emergency crews weren’t exactly met with open arms when they responded to a raging apartment fire. Instead of letting emergency responders help, an angry crowd stood in their way and blocked them.

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Massive NYC fire puts 14 cops in the hospital

 

Officials say that the fire broke out in a sixth floor apartment kitchen near East 171st Street in Grand Concourse on September 3. More than 100 firefighters were dispatched to help put out the blaze.

Reports say that a number of residents had to use their fire escape to avoid the fire. Police stood outside of the apartment, attempting to get building tenants out safely while also allowing space for emergency crews and firefighters to get access to the building.

 

But as they tried to bring order to a chaotic situation, tensions flared. Officers say that fights began breaking out between police and residents after people refused to move and clear the way. 

Let’s review for a moment. Police and other first responders were trying to help get everyone to safety and get the blaze extinguished. And people quite literally blocked them from getting there.

 

Additional reports said that one woman grabbed an officer’s body worn camera and smashed it onto the pavement. Another person threw a carton of milk at the officers and then ran off.

crowd_bronx_nypd_riot
Emergency crews thought they would just have to battle a fire – not an angry mob. (Screenshot NBC 4 New York)

 

Officers were able to arrest the woman who tried to destroy the body cam. She now faces several charges including harassment and grand larceny.

Video captured at the scene showed the tempers flaring between building residents and responding officers.

 

One man’s brother and mother were detained by police during the struggle.

“My brother wasn’t listening,” he said. “My mother was telling him, ‘move back, move back,’ and the cops grabbed my brother to detain him. My mom got a little bit angry so she went toward the cops.”

No officers were injured in the struggle.

Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries, most of which included smoke inhalation, NBC reported. There was no indication as to what caused the fire to start.

Police said that a total of five families were displaced due to damage from the fire, but amazingly no one inside the building was injured. 

This is quite literally what our police are up against these days.

 

The New York City Police Benevolent Association condemned the crowd’s actions. 

“They wanted to fight the cops who were there to help,” the PBA tweeted.

 

Also on Tuesday night, we learned that another brother in blue has fallen. 

Reports began coming in during the evening that a Richmond County deputy was shot and killed.  Here’s what we know so far.

He was narcotics investigator Cecil Ridley.

 

He was shot and killed at 12th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Augusta, according to sheriff’s office Sgt. William McCarty.

 

He was working a beat that was part of a new “proactive patrol to curb gun violence” said McCarty.  That initiative had just started last week.

 

McCarty said although it’s unclear what led up to the shooting, at some point, Ridley encountered a suspect and gunfire was exchanged.

The suspect was also shot.  He was rushed to Augusta University Medical Center, and his condition is unknown.

So far in 2019, Georgia has lost seven officers.

Ridley’s death marks the the 108th officer killed in the line of duty this year.

He was only 51-years-old and lived in Augusta.  According to the department, he received an award in 2018 for five years of service.

 


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