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Thread: Line of duty

  1. #1
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    Line of duty

    God Bless numerous firefighters injured one died today at Bronx fire......

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    FDNY F.F. Michael Riley age 25 probie assigned to ladder 75 Bronx,,,,GOD BLESS RIP

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    Rookie Firefighter Was Iraq War Veteran

    FDNY Firefighter Killed, Four Others Rescued After Floor Collapses
    Rookie Firefighter Was Iraq War Veteran, Same Store Burned in 2000


    Updated: 08-28-2006 12:08:07 AM


    SUSAN NICOL KYLE
    Firehouse.com News

    Courtesy WABC-TV, New York



    One of two FDNY firefighters removed in cardiac arrest following a collapse at a three-alarm structure fire in the Bronx Sunday has died. The second man, a lieutenant, was in very critical condition.

    Michael Reilly, a 25-year-old rookie from Engine 75, was four months out of the fire academy, the Associated Press reported. He was trapped when floor collapsed and plunged him and four colleagues into the basement.

    Four other firefighters were rescued following the partial collapse at Bronx Box 2797 at 1575 Walton Avenue. First reports of the working fire came in around 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Within minutes of arrival, a second alarm was requested and less than 30 minutes into the blaze, command reported a partial collapse with multiple Maydays.

    Lieutenant Howard Carpluk, a 20-year veteran, was in critical condition at an area hospital. Initial reports said he also was removed from the building in cardiac arrest when removed from the structure, but was revived.

    Battalion Chief Thomas Auer, 47, a 23-year veteran, Lt. John Grasso, 45, a 21-year veteran, and firefighter Wayne Walters, 36, a four-year veteran, were in serious but stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

    "I ask all New Yorkers to take a moment and say a prayer for the firefighter that we lost," Bloomberg said.

    Reilly, a former volunteer firefighter from Ramsey, N.J., and a Marine who fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, apparently died from heart failure and was not burned, Newsday reported.

    Reilly lived in Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, had worked for smaller fire departments, in Ramsey, N.J., and Stratford, Conn., the New York Times reported..

    Working as a New York City firefighter "was his lifelong dream," Stratford Chief Ronald C. Nattrass told the Times.

    He is the 1,133rd FDNY Bravest to die in the line of duty. He is survived by his parents, a brother and a sister.

    Several other firefighters were injured during the rescue effort, which included all of the city's rescue companies, the collapse team and other special services. To cover the rest of the city, the department activated its reserve unit, Rescue 6.

    About 20 firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation during the firefighting and rescue efforts at the gutted store, which sold discounted toiletries, kitchen supplies and knickknacks, the AP reported.

    Sources said the trapped included an officer and firefighter from Engine 75, an officer from Ladder 44 and a battalion chief. Four of the five trapped firefighters were pulled from the rubble within an hour.

    WABC-TV reported on its Web site, that the location of the fire, a 99 cent store, also burned five years ago. The fire was also three blocks away from the blaze that claimed the lives of two firefighters last January at the 'Black Sunday' blaze, when six were forced to jump from an upper floor to escape flames. Many of the same companies worked that blaze and Sunday's.

    The fire was under control by 4:45 p.m. No cause had been determined late Sunday, but the fire was not deemed suspicious.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=50905

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    God Bless Lt Carpluk Fdny,,,,died Today From Results Of Yesterdays Fire,,,,,,

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    5555

    FIRE DEPARTMENT OF NEW YORK
    Official Information




    Wake and Funeral Arrangements for Firefighter Michael Reilly

    Wake
    Van Emburgh Sneider Funeral Home
    109 Darlington Ave
    Ramsey NJ 07446
    201-327-0030

    Visitation: Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    From George Washington Bridge: Take Route 4 West to Route 17 North to the Ramsey-Lake St Exit, keep right at the light and follow signs that say Ramsey. Go over Route 17, continue to third traffic light and make a right onto North Central Ave. Go three blocks and make a left on Darlington Ave. Funeral Home is a half mile on right.

    Funeral
    St Paul RC Church
    200 Wyckoff Ave
    Ramsey, NJ 07446
    201-327-0976

    Funeral Mass: Friday, September 1 at 10:30 a.m.

    Follow directions to funeral home, at third light go straight across North Central Ave, that will turn into Wyckoff Ave and the church is one mile on the left.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wake and Funeral Arrangements for Lieutenant Howard Carpluk, Jr.

    Wake
    Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home Inc.
    200 East Main Street
    East Islip, NY 11730
    631-581-5600

    Visitation: Thursday, August 31 and Friday, September 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    Via the Long Island Expressway (Route 495):
    LIE to exit 53S to Southern State Pkwy Eastbound to Exit 45W (Montauk Highway West). Take short service road to traffic light, make right turn. Funeral Home is a half mile ahead on left.

    From the West via the Southern State Pkwy:
    Southern State to Exit 45W (Montauk Highway West). Take short service road to traffic light, make right turn. Funeral Home is a half mile ahead on left.

    Via Sunrise Highway (Route 27):
    Sunrise Hwy to Exit 46S (Carelton Avenue South). Proceed 8/10 of a mile to Montauk Highway (Route 27A). Make a left turn. Funeral home is a half mile down on right.

    Funeral
    St. Mark

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    Thoughts and prayers, rest in peace.

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    Lieutenant 'Was Like An Angel on Earth'

    Lieutenant 'Was Like An Angel on Earth'


    Updated: 08-31-2006 12:18:52 AM



    This story was reported by staff writers CHRISTINE ARMARIO, JOSEPH MALLIA and LUIS PEREZ
    New York Newsday


    Lt. Howard Carpluk was mourned yesterday by family and friends, by fellow firefighters, and by children who live and play near the Bronx firehouse where the decorated 20-year veteran was stationed, not far from the site of the fire where he suffered fatal injuries.

    "He was like an angel on earth," Felix Jimenez, 11, said yesterday, standing outside the Engine 42 firehouse on Monroe Avenue, where well-wishers placed a memorial of votive candles and yellow roses.

    The family of Carpluk, 43, of Yaphank, gathered in grief at the home he shared with his wife, Debra, son Bradley, 14, and daughter, Paige, 10.

    Carpluk was the lieutenant who invited neighborhood kids to slide down the brass pole in the firehouse and took them for rides on fire trucks. He was the one who joined in their street games and threw an excellent curveball.

    "You used to think it was in the middle, like right there ... but really, it was down low," Jimenez said. He also helped keep Monroe Avenue safe, responding when there was an accident or a violent incident, other neighbors said.

    At the Engine 42 station house and at firehouses across the city, flags were lowered to half staff in tribute to Carpluk and firefighter Michael Reilly, 25, who was assigned to Engine 75 in the Bronx. Both died of injuries they suffered when the floor of a discount store at 1575 Walton Ave., in the Mount Eden section, collapsed beneath them. Reilly died Sunday; Carpluk died yesterday at Montefiore Medical Center.

    "Today, New York City has lost another one of its bravest," Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement yesterday.

    Carpluk was awarded two citations for bravery, including one for a heroic rescue on March 30, 1988, when he retrieved two unconscious men from a blazing Bronx apartment, the mayor's office said. He began his career at Ladder Company 31 in the Bronx and was promoted to lieutenant on Feb. 6, 1999.

    "When I met with the men of the Engine 42 this morning, they told me how the lieutenant faced each and every challenge before him bravely and unflinchingly," Bloomberg said.

    Carpluk's relatives described him as a hero of 9/11 for risking his life and health to save World Trade Center victims on the day of the terrorist attacks.

    Kay Fisher, his mother-in-law, recalled that on Sept. 11 he was driving to Vermont to help work on a friend's house. But when he heard the first plane had struck the trade center, he sped to Manhattan and joined the rescue effort, she said.

    "He turned right around and went right into the thick of it," she said, soon after she arrived yesterday at the Carpluks' home. "He's a wonderful person. He'd give the shirt off his back to you. He loves his job."

    Friends said he was a fine athlete, a loving family man and a concerned neighborhood activist who fought a Suffolk County decision to reopen a nearby shooting range on July 15, saying it caused lead pollution and unacceptable noise levels. Carpluk grew up on Union Boulevard in East Islip, said childhood neighbor Melissa Tropeano, who graduated with him in 1980 from East Islip High School.

    A family friend, Johan McConnell, said Carpluk was devoted to his children, coaching their sports teams and attending games. "He was only 43, very young," McConnell said. "He was a very gung-ho kind of guy. I can see him running into the building" to fight the fire on Sunday, she said.

    Sal Ciampi, Carpluk's football and baseball coach at East Islip High School, said he was a starting quarterback and outfielder. "He was just a tremendous young man. An unbelievable team man."


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=50977

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    Investigators Probe Fire That Claimed Two Bravest

    Investigators Probe Fire That Claimed Two Bravest
    Botched Fix After 2000 Blaze May Have Contributed to Collapse


    Updated: 08-31-2006 12:05:42 AM


    By MURRAY WEISS, AYESHA AKRAM and MARSHA KRANES
    Reprinted with Permission, The New York Post


    The NYPD is probing whether a 2000 arson blaze led to Sunday's Bronx discount-store floor collapse, in which two firefighters plummeted to their deaths under piles of debris and merchandise, sources said yesterday.

    A preliminary examination of the building shows that the post-fire reconstruction from six years ago was "faulty, hugely faulty," a city official told The Post.

    Buildings Department engineers and fire inspectors were combing through the ruins of the Walton Avenue building, trying to determine if the renovations made after the July 17, 2000, blaze had left the building structurally compromised.

    A 20-by-30-foot section of the store's floor caved in as firefighters were battling a blaze that apparently erupted in a refrigeration unit at the rear of the one-story building. The blaze was not considered suspicious.

    Lt. Howard Carpluk, 43, died a day after the collapse killed rookie firefighter and Iraq war veteran Michael Reilly, 25, making it the deadliest day for the FDNY since "Black Sunday," when three firefighters died on Jan. 23, 2005.

    An FDNY spokesman said that Battalion Chief Thomas Auer, 47, and Lt. John Grasso, 45, were in stable condition last night at New York Hospital. Firefighter Wayne Walters, 36, was released Monday.

    The 2000 blaze - a three-alarmer that caused extensive damage - was declared an arson. Fire marshals determined that it had been set by someone who poured gasoline on the roof.

    Although no arrests were made in the case, a source familiar with the investigation said detectives suspected that vagrants who hung out in a nearby park were hired to torch the building.

    Another source said that before the case was closed in February 2001, the NYPD had been zeroing in on two possible suspects, but they didn't have enough evidence to build a case against them.

    A law-enforcement source yesterday noted that the cause in the 2000 blaze was similar to that in a series of fires set as part of an arson-for-profit scheme for which David Gold, one of the owners of Sunday's fire-ravaged building, was arrested by the feds in 1983.

    Because of the similarities, police and fire officials are reviewing the case file for the 2000 blaze.

    In the 1983 case, the feds busted Gold and seven others for allegedly operating the arson-profit ring. They were accused of starting 43 fires in 37 rundown, partially occupied apartment buildings in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan.

    Most of the fires were set on rooftops by professional "torches," according to a former agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who had knowledge of the case.

    The arson ring was made up of "a group of real-estate developers who looked for buildings in disrepair, buildings the city had foreclosed on for failure to pay taxes," the ex-fed told The Post.

    "They would take over the property basically for the taxes due, and then burn them," he recalled. "Then they would submit small insurance claims - so small that the insurance companies wouldn't raise an eyebrow. Sometimes the building was burned twice."

    But it wasn't just the insurance money the schemers were after, said the former agent, who spent five years investigating the scam.

    "The buildings all had been partially occupied, so in most cases, they burned out families and ended up with a vacant building. And then they could apply for Section 8 HUD financing. The building then became valuable and they flipped it," he said.

    "If it was still occupied, they walked away."

    Gold, 65, a real-estate lawyer and partner in Davir Realty Ltd., was initially charged with racketeering. He ended up pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges of mail fraud and was given two concurrent six month sentences, which were suspended. He was also put on three years' probation, fined $200 and required to serve 300 hours of community service.

    Gold got the plea deal "because he was a cooperator," providing vital information about another defendant, said the ex-ATF agent.

    A former Brooklyn prosecutor echoed the ex-fed's account.

    Attempts to reach Gold at his Brooklyn home and Bronx office were unsuccessful yesterday. His lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman, who handled the 1983 case, said Gold is out of town. Hoffman said he was not aware that the NYPD was re-examining the case file for the 2000 fire.

    "I don't know how anyone can say that. There was an investigation into the 2000 fire and nobody claimed there was anything suspicious," he insisted. "If I remember correctly, the appropriate insurance was paid off, and they never pay off if there's any specter of impropriety."

    Hoffman said Gold was one of "probably three owners" of the building.

    According to records at the New York Department of State, Davir Realty is located at the same address as Gold's Bronx law office.

    Hoffman claimed Gold cannot be held responsible if faulty repairs are found to be responsible for Sunday's disaster. He said, "Mr. Gold is a passive investor - it's like saying that I am responsible for IBM's performance because I own 1,000 shares in IBM."

    Of the 1983 arson-for-profit case, Hoffman said Gold's "name was only brought up because some of his clients were involved, and when they cast the net, they arrested everybody even remotely involved."

    An FDNY source noted that rooftop fires are a favorite of arsonists.

    "The reason an arsonist sets fire to the roof is that it usually totals the building," he said. "It's the most expensive part of the building and, more importantly, all the water [poured on by firefighters] goes from top to bottom, causing tremendous water damage."

    Buildings Department records show that the owners filed paperwork for repairs to be made to joists and partitions after the 2000 fire. There is no indication that inspectors ever looked at the work. There have been no significant violations on other matters in the building since then.

    The 99-cent store that was the scene of Sunday's fatal fire was the latest in a series of discount shops to go up in flames, but officials say they have been unable to determine a pattern because there aren't enough marshals to properly investigate.

    "The fire marshals have been reduced to a skeleton-like force since 9/11," said Peter Gorman, president of Uniformed Fire Officers Association. "Their ability to investigate has been greatly reduced."

    Since 2002, at least seven fires either began inside or involved 99-cent stores across the city.

    Additional reporting by Stefanie Cohen, Zach Haberman, Alex Ginsberg, Heidi Singer and Jana Winter

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=50971

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    Stratford, Conn. Remembers NYC Firefighter, Former Co-Worker

    Stratford, Conn. Remembers NYC Firefighter, Former Co-Worker


    Updated: 08-31-2006 12:08:48 AM


    RICHARD WEIZEL
    Connecticut Post Online (Bridgeport, Connecticut)


    STRATFORD -- Just last year, Michael C. Reilly told fellow town firefighters he was relieved to have made it through an eight-month ordeal battling fires as a Marine in Iraq.

    He said he was lucky a terrorist bomb was disarmed near his fire unit just before it could have killed him.

    But the 25-year-old Reilly, who always dreamed of being a New York City firefighter, wasn't as lucky Sunday.

    Reilly, a resident of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, N.Y., died fighting a blaze just two months after realizing his dream by joining the nation's largest firefighting force in New York City.

    Working out of Engine Company 75 in the South Bronx, one of the city's busiest, Reilly died while fighting a massive fire in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx.

    Firefighters were dispatched Sunday afternoon to battle a blaze in a one-story commercial building at 1575 Walton Ave. The fire quickly grew to three alarms. Fire units entered the building to search for victims and other firefighters trapped when a floor in the structure collapsed.

    Reilly died along with fire Lt. Howard J. Carpluk Jr. of Engine Company 42. Both were trapped in the collapse.

    Reilly started working for his hometown volunteer fire department in Ramsey, N.J., as a 16-year-old junior in high school, and was hired by Stratford in 2003.

    A year later, the Marine Reservist was called to action in Iraq.

    "I just talked to him 10 days ago and he was on top of the world. He had made his lifelong dream come true by the age of 25 and he had his whole future mapped out," said 47-year-old Stratford firefighter Mike Tiberio, who graduated from the Connecticut Firefighter Academy with Reilly in 2003.

    "Mike and I got hired together and I just can't fathom why it had to be him.

    "Some of us have lived a lot longer and here's this great guy just starting out, and just like that he's gone," Tiberio said.

    "I'm still numb."

    But Tiberio said Reilly often commented about the job's dangers.

    "He told me if that were to happen to him, he would have no regrets because if he had to go, this is how he would want to go," Tiberio said.

    "Firefighting wasn't a job to Mike, it was a passion. That's why this is so tragic."

    Stratford Fire Chief Ronald Nattrass said Monday the 98-member department is in a state of shock, and many plan to attend whatever tribute is held for Reilly later this week in New York.

    "They say there's a silver lining in everything, but if someone can show me any in this instance I would be very grateful," Nattrass said.

    "He was just a guy who never looked for the glory, and just loved fitting in," the chief said.

    Fire Chief Tom Lanning of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department in northern New Jersey said his 80-member unit is also stunned, as is the entire town of 14,500.

    "Firefighting was in his blood, as he joined the fire department at age 16 in our high school juniors' program, and said he wanted to do this for his life. He was ready," Lanning said.

    "In less than 24 hours, we have lost two courageous men, [including] a young probie at the start of his career," New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said of the firefighters' deaths. "It is a heart-breaking loss for the Fire Department."

    Stratford Mayor James R. Miron, in a statement, said, "The town of Stratford joins with the City of New York in honoring the passing of Firefighter Michael C. Reilly."

    The mayor ordered flags at all Stratford municipal buildings lowered to half-staff in memory of Reilly, "who so bravely served our community before moving to pursue his lifelong dream of working as a New York City firefighter."

    Reilly is survived by his father, Michael Reilly Sr., mother Monica, brother Kevin and sister Erin.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=50973

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