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Two officers critically injured in Coney Island fire
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy on Monday in connection with a suspicious fire at a Coney Island housing development that left two NYPD officers in critical condition.
Marcell Dockery was arrested on charges of assault, arson and reckless endangerment in the fire that set on Sunday at the high-rise where he lives, police said.
Citing a law enforcement official, The Wall Street Journal reported the suspect told authorities that he set a mattress on fire with a lighter because he was "bored."
Officers Rosa Rodriguez, 36, and Dennis Guerra, 38, were found Sunday afternoon in an elevator on the 13th floor, where the fire started in the 18-story city Housing Authority building at 2007 Surf Ave., according to NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton.
Bratton, speaking at a news conference outside Jacobi Medical Center, where Guerra was taken, said the two were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Our understanding is they were up in the elevator . . . and then once the door was opened, they were overcome by the smoke," Bratton said of the officers.
Guerra is the son of a retired NYPD officer, who was at the hospital, and has four kids, according to the NYPD. He's been with the force for seven years. Guerra was first taken to Coney Island Hospital and was then airlifted to Jacobi.
Rodriguez, who was taken to Weill Cornell Hospital, has worked for the NYPD for three years and also has four children.
"Commissioner Bratton and I spent time with the family of Officer Guerra," said Mayor Bill de Blasio at Jacobi. "We tried our best to comfort them. To let them know that we would be with them every step of the way."
The mayor traveled with Bratton to both hospitals.
Bratton later visited with Rodriguez's family at Weill Cornell.
"[Rodriguez] is in the best of care in this facility, he said. "She's still in critical condition, but there's a real expectation that she will be able to move forward, but it's going to be a lengthy recovery going forward," adding that he spoke to attending physicians about her "significant smoke inhalation issues."
When asked if he spoke to Rodriguez, Bratton said: "She's not in the condition to be spoken to. Same for Officer Guerra."
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch, who was also at the news conference at Jacobi, thanked the first responders who got the officers to the hospital quickly.
"They treated our brother and sister as if they were their brother and sister," he said.
Firefighters got the blaze under control at 1:20 p.m., an FDNY spokeswoman said.
Two civilians and three firefighters suffered minor injuries, according to the fire department.
An FDNY spokesman said one civilian was hospitalized.
— With Newsday