NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Three New Rochelle Police Officer was injured, one overcome by smoke after he entered a burning building.
At least six tenants from 3 units self-evacuated. There was one minor civilian injury. Two cats were recovered. One tenant told Talk of the Sound another cat was missing.
A fire, apparently ignited in a narrow trash area between 157 Franklin Avenue and 161 Franklin, ran up the side of the split 3-story apartment building at 153-157 Franklin Avenue, reaching the roof. The two buildings are separated by about two feet.
New Rochelle Fire Fighters responded to a call shortly after 9:00 am Sunday morning.
“Members got her quickly. Made a great stop and prevented it from exposing from a house two feet away,” said NRFD Chief Andrew Sandor. “You can see the volume of fire that was there…guys got in, they were aggressive and they made a great stop it looks like and all civilians are accounted for, two pluses right there.”
The three officers were transported to Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, one by ambulance.
The origin and cause of the fire are yet to be officially determined. An investigation team was called to the scene according to Sandor.
On September 20th at 9:05 am. Police Officer Timothy Childs while on routine patrol on Pelham Road observed a smoky condition on Franklin Avenue north of his position. Investigating further he observed a fire emanating from 157 Franklin Avenue, which is a six-unit building. He advised Police Headquarters of this situation, and immediately began evacuating the building. Police Officer Phalan Pedro and Lieutenant Robert Wenzler responded and assisted in evacuating the building. Officers also vented first floor apartments from the outside. One of the residents advised the officers that his friend had been sleeping on his couch and had not made it out. Officers then climbed the rear fire escape and spoke to the resident, who refused to climb onto the fire escape due to her cats being inside. The resident was subsequently rescued by New Rochelle Fire Department personnel
During their rescue efforts, Lieutenant Wenzlersustained a knee injury. Police Officer Childs and Police Officer Pedro were treated for smoke inhalation. All Officers were relieved of duty.
The fire which was significant caused damage to the entire right side of the building making it unhabitable. No residents were injured. New Rochelle Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire.