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Family mourns officer who died after Coney Island fire

New Yorkers remember Officer Dennis Guerra, 38, one week after he and his partner tried to help residents of a burning Coney Island apartment building.

coney island dennis guerra Officer Dennis Guerra, inset, passed away last week after he and his partner attempted to rescue residents from a blaze in a Coney Island apartment building.
Credit: Inset, NYPD; photo, Google Maps

Hundreds of New Yorkers mourned the loss of a police officer who died last week after responding to an fire in a Coney Island apartment building.

One week after Officer Dennis Guerra, 38, and his partner were rescued from a smoke-filled hallway, his family, friends and colleagues from NYPD gathered at a Queens funeral home on Sunday for a public viewing.

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Guerra spent three days in local hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning and the severe smoke inhalation before passing way on Wednesday. He is survived by his wife, Cathy, and four children — the youngest 7-years old.

The family will be joined again by officers as well as various elected and community leaders at Monday's funeral service at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Rockaway.

Guerra will then be laid to rest at St. John Cemetery in Middle Village.

On Friday, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced that the teenage suspect behind the fire would face felony murder charges.

Marcell Dockery, 16, was arrested the day after the fire after he reportedly confessing to investigators that he lit a discarded mattress in the apartment building's hallway because he was bored.

Dockery already faced arson, assault and reckless endangerment, and now could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He remains in custody without bail.

Authorities said Guerra's partner, Officer Rosa Rodriguez, is still hospitalized and in critical condition at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio recognized Guerra and Rodriguez as "the most selfless and noble traditions of this city" at an unrelated event.

"We lost someone who exemplified all that’s good about New York City," de Blasio said at the time, "and my heart goes out to his family. We feel their loss with them."

 
 
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