Dennis Guerra, a 38-year-old father of four, died this morning after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation over the weekend, while responding to a fire in a Coney Island public housing building. Marcell Dockery, 16, allegedly started the blaze in a hallway because he was “bored,” and will face arson, assault, and now even more serious charges. Guerra’s death is the first of an officer in the line of duty since 2011. His partner remains in critical condition.
“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,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton yesterday. “How can any of us make any sense out of that? And particularly with the tragic consequences that ensued.”