NEW YORK — Two NYPD officers were overcome while battling a fire at a Coney Island high rise and are currently in critical condition.
The officers, Rosa Rodriguez, 36, and Dennis Guerra, 38, were responding to the fire on the 13th floor of an 18-story building in Coney Island. According to WABC New York, the officers used an elevator to get up to the fire floors but the elevator stopped and they suffered severe smoke inhalation. They were found unconscious when the elevator returned to the first floor.
Guerra went into cardiac arrest and was airlifted from Coney Island Hospital to Jacobi Hospital in The Bronx, where he was met by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio. A father of four, he is the son of a retired NYPD officer.
Rodriguez, a four-year veteran of the force, was taken to Cornell Medical Center’s burn unit.
Bratton deemed the cause of the fire "suspicious", and it is under active investigation. According to the New York Post, residents said the blaze started in a hallway with a burning mattress that may have been purposefully set on fire.
Three firefighters and nine civilians were treated and released at the scene, and one civilian was transported to Coney Island Hospital.