New Rochelle Fire Department held an awards ceremony at City Hall to recognize its members for their bravery and heroism. In the last two years, the department has responded to more than 16,000 calls for service. The ceremony also honored the memory of fallen firefighters. Local firefighters donated several sets of bunker gear, over thirty pairs of pants, coats, and 100 SCBA masks.
A fatal fire claimed the life of a New Rochelle woman. The fire broke out at a mixed-use building on Hamilton Avenue in the early morning hours on Thursday. The building’s second-floor apartment is where the woman’s body was found. The fire erupted to the point that it triggered five alarms. Nine other fire departments were called to assist New Rochelle and cover its firehouses. According to fire chief Andrew Sandor, it took longer for crews to reach the victim than expected.
The New Rochelle Fire Department plays an integral role in the community by providing fire protection, life-rescue and emergency medical care. Additionally, the department also responds to hazardous materials and weapons-of-mass incidents. The fire department is also responsible for administering the city’s prevention code, enforcing the housing code, and conducting prevention activities.
The New Rochelle Fire Department continues to investigate the cause of the fire. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 6:30 a.m. and found heavy smoke and flames through the roof. The fire began in the north part of the building and quickly spread to the cockloft and second floor. Three firefighters were treated after inhaling smoke.
The New Rochelle Fire Department’s Fire Investigation Unit would like to thank the agencies that helped with the investigation. The investigation was assisted by the New Rochelle Police Department Investigations and Yonkers Fire Department Investigations. Although the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Sandor stated that the fire likely started in the lower unit. The lower unit is still being evacuated of water.
New Rochelle Fire Department will establish and maintain a Firemen’s Pension Fund. Pension benefits for retired firefighters will be paid for with funds from this fund. The fire department may also subsidize the pension benefits of its retirees. The pension fund will continue to function as long as there are sufficient funds available by the City.
A retired firefighter’s widow will receive a pension equivalent to a third of the firefighter’s annual salary. The pension may be divided between the spouses by trustees. This will also benefit the widow’s children. The trustees can split the pension among the children if she is unable to work.