De Blasio: NYPD-FDNY Communication Did Not Contribute To Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) —The teenage boy accused of setting the fire that killed a police officer in a Coney Island public housing high-rise is due back in court Thursday.

Marcell Dockery, 16, faces second-degree murder, arson, assault and reckless endangerment charges.

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He faces a maximum of 25 years to life behind bars if convicted.

Dockery admitted setting a mattress on fire in the hallway of his building in April because he was bored, police said. He has since rescinded that story, saying he was coerced by police.

Police Officer Dennis Guerra (credit: NYPD)

Police Officer Dennis Guerra (credit: NYPD)

Sources told CBS 2 Dockery has a history of setting fires. His attorney claimed Dockery banged on doors trying to get people out of the building when he was unable to put out the fire.

NYPD officers Dennis Guerra and Rosa Rodriguez rushed to the 13th floor of the building to help, but they were overcome by smoke and carbon monoxide.

Guerra, 38, never regained consciousness. He died from his injuries at Montefiore Medical Center. The married father of four had more than seven years on the job.

Officer Rosa Rodriguez is released from the hospital on May 19, 2014. (credit: Don Champion/CBS 2)

Officer Rosa Rodriguez is released from the hospital on May 19, 2014. (credit: Don Champion/CBS 2)

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Rodriguez, 36, remained at the burn unit at Weill Cornell Medical Center until May 19. She is a single mother of four kids and a four-year veteran of the NYPD Housing Bureau.

Officer Guerra was survived by his wife Cathy and their four children – Kathleen, 20; Jonathan, 17; Alyssa, 14; and Zachary, 7.

The Silver Shield Foundation announced it is collecting funds to help cover college expenses for Guerra’s children.

Separately, Mayor de Blasio said Thursday Guerra’s death was a tragedy, but there’s no evidence to support an allegation that slow communication between police and fire department first responders, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

“That was not, in my opinion and based on everything I’ve heard, that was not the problem. The problem was there was not a sufficient protocol for these situations.”

De Blasio added that Police Commissioner William Bratton has ordered new rules regarding how police officers should respond to fires.

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