2 FDNY FFs arrested in NJ for repeatedly crossing police lines at fire scene

Police said the two men appeared to be intoxicated and ignored police commands


Kevin Shea
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

TRENTON, N.J. — Two members of the New York City fire department were arrested by Trenton police earlier this month after ignoring multiple requests to stay behind the lines at a three-alarm blaze in the city’s North Ward.

Veteran FDNY firefighters Matthew J. Paglione and Matthew R. Farletta appeared to be intoxicated when they approached a fire scene Feb. 2 on Brunswick Avenue, Trenton city and police officials said.

Two FDNY firefighters were arrested in New Jersey for repeatedly crossing police lines and ignoring police commands at a three-alarm blaze in Trenton. The firefighters were charged with failure to disperse and each paid a fine. (Photo/Signal 22 Canteen Unit Facebook)
Two FDNY firefighters were arrested in New Jersey for repeatedly crossing police lines and ignoring police commands at a three-alarm blaze in Trenton. The firefighters were charged with failure to disperse and each paid a fine. (Photo/Signal 22 Canteen Unit Facebook)

The two, who are both originally from Mercer County, were told several times to stay behind lines police established so Trenton firefighters could fight the fire, which consumed four homes in the 400 block of the street, officials said.

When they continued to ignore police commands, officers arrested them and charged each with failure to disperse – a disorderly persons offense. Trenton Municipal Court records show each pleaded guilty the next day and paid a fine, Farletta $233 and Paglione $183.

FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer on Monday said the firefighters’ work status was not affected by the incident. And he reiterated the comments he gave to the New York Post, which first reported the firefighters’ identities. “There are no allegations at this time which would warrant a suspension.”

Paglione and Farletta could face internal discipline by the FDNY, Dwyer said.

Paglione, 41, has been an FDNY firefighter for 16 years and is stationed at Ladder 27 in The Bronx and Farletta, 35, has been on the job for 13 years and is at Squad 61 in The Bronx, the Post reported.

Farletta was a volunteer firefighter in Lawrence and Paglione a volunteer in Hightstown before becoming New York City firefighters. Paglione also worked in Robbinsville’s fire department, according to online biographies in his work as a fire instructor.

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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