An NYPD housing officer from Far Rockaway who was injured in a Coney Island fire allegedly set by a teen has died.
Dennis Guerra, 38, passed away at 6:50 a.m. Wednesday, police said. The Bayswater resident leaves behind a wife and four children, according to officials.
“This brave officer gave his life in service of others,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “The entire Rockaway community mourns a neighbor, friend and hero. We will keep his wife and children in our thoughts and prayers.”
Guerra and Officer Rosa Rodriguez, 36, were responding to a fire at the Coney Island Housing Development on Surf Avenue when they were both critically hurt, police said.
The blaze broke out about 12:30 p.m. Sunday on the 13th floor. The two officers took the elevator up to the fire, but as the elevator doors opened, the officers were overcome by smoke in the hallway, according to officials.
Firefighters found the officers unconscious and unresponsive, and pulled them out of the building. Both suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and the effects of smoke inhalation.
“[Guerra] went selflessly towards the flame, selflessly towards those who are in danger, no matter what the risk to him,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
“It’s something that our police officers do every day. It’s something our first responders do every day. It is something we need to appreciate every day.”
Photo via Twitter/@NYPDnews
In a ceremony at NYPD headquarters Wednesday, flags were lowered to half staff in honor of Guerra.
Rodriguez, who is also a Queens resident, remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to reports.
A 16-year-old resident of the Coney Island building, Marcell Dockery, was arrested the following day for setting the blaze, police said.
He allegedly lit a mattress on fire because he was “bored,” reports said.
Dockery has been charged with arson, assault and reckless endangerment, but those charges are reportedly expected to be upgraded this week, according to Newsday.
Following the fire, the NYPD said it is reviewing procedures to see if any changes in training need to be made, the publication also reported.