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NYC officer hurt in apartment fire dies


LAST UPDATED: 3:15 a.m. HST, Apr 9, 2014

NEW YORK >> A police officer injured last weekend while responding to a mattress fire in the hallway of a Brooklyn apartment building died Wednesday, a department spokesman said.

Officer Dennis Guerra, 38, succumbed to his injuries at 6:50 a.m., according to the New York Police Department spokesman, Sgt. Lee Jones. The husband and father had more than seven years on the job.

Guerra and his partner, Rosa Rodriguez, were overcome by carbon monoxide and smoke as they were responding to the fire Sunday on the 13th floor of the Coney Island apartment building. Rodriguez remains hospitalized in critical condition. 

Police allege a 16-year-old boy set fire to the mattress out of boredom. He was arraigned Monday on charges of assault, arson and reckless endangerment and held without bail.

"The tragedy here is that a 16-year-old young man would not have common sense enough to understand the potential implication of lighting a mattress, as has been alleged, on fire in his own building," Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference Tuesday before the officer's death. "How can any of us make any sense out of that? And particularly with the tragic consequences that ensued." 

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