Dozens of fellow officers, family and friends paid their respects Sunday to NYPD housing officer Dennis Guerra, a father of four who died last week after being trapped in a Brooklyn fire.
The line at James Romanelli-Stephen Funeral Home in Ozone Park moved slowly as mourners, many in blue uniforms, inched toward the open casket. The viewing evoked sorrowful memories of Guerra, described as a devoted family man -- and anger from at least one person, a former Queens neighbor.
Guerra's hands were covered with white gloves, a rosary wrapped around his fingers. One of two New York City firefighters standing in front of the casket made a sign of a cross.
Guerra, 38, died early Wednesday of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning after he and fellow officer Rosa Rodriguez, both of Queens, were overcome by dense smoke and toxic fumes in a Coney Island high-rise fire on April 6. Guerra's funeral is Monday.
Guerra leaves behind his wife, Cathy; and children Kathleen, 20, Jonathan, 17, Alyssa, 14, and Zachary, 7.
Rodriguez's family, including two of her four children, young girls wearing Sunday dresses and police caps, also attended the viewing.
Rodriguez, 36, remained hospitalized.
On Friday, charges were upgraded to felony murder against Marcell Dockery, 16, of Brooklyn, who police said started the 13th-floor mattress fire.
The line of visitors stretched outside the Queens funeral home at one point. Inside, a New York State Trooper followed the firefighters and stood before the casket and saluted.
Guerra's smiling face was embroidered on a large tapestry.
"His kids were his world. His mom was his world. His family was his world," said Police Officer Laura Thomasel, a family friend who attended the wake.
Maria Cepero, 60, the former neighbor in Far Rockaway, said she was "angry inside" over the loss. She said it was "stupidity" that led to a life being "taken from his family, from his kids."
Among those paying respects was NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, who did not speak to reporters outside.
"It's sad," said Thomasel, who brought a bouquet. "But we got an extra angel up in heaven now to watch over all the guys in blue."
Thomasel said she knew Guerra when he was a school safety agent in Queens before he was an officer.
But she said she didn't know Guerra was one of the officers who had raced into the building until she saw his face on the television news. She cried, she said.