NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Luis Roman gave a one word apology as he was led out of the 45th precinct Monday.
Police say a marijuana grow operation was discovered on the third floor where Roman allegedly lives.
CBS2 was there as he was handcuffed in front of the Pelham Bay apartment building where firefighters battled a fire on the third floor Sunday night.
Roman is charged with criminal possession of marijuana and assault.
The assault charge is related to the injuries firefighter Thomas Corcoran of Engine 72 sustained after he lost his footing and fell 30 feet from a ladder while fighting the blaze.
He suffered fractures to his neck and back around 9 p.m. Sunday while trying to get to the roof of the home on Mayflower Avenue in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx.
“He has back injuries and possible leg injuries. He’s a very lucky individual,” Fire Commission Daniel Nigro said late Sunday night. “This is a 38-year-old firefighter, married, father of three, with 12 years experience in the fire department.”
Corcoran was rushed to Jacobi Hospital with multiple fractures. He was scheduled to have surgery on Monday.
Another firefighter suffered a minor leg injury.
“It’s a very dangerous job. I’ve said that over and over at these operations, and sometimes these things happen,” Nigro said.
“It’s so sad. He came to do his job and he fell,” one neighbor added.
Police were putting up more yellow tape on Monday morning around the three-story home.
“Tons of police vehicles, EMTs, FDNY trucks, like just a lot of people. There was even a Con Ed truck here so I thought it was a gas leak or something that happened. I didn’t know what it was at first,” neighbor Daniel Agosto said.
It’s unclear if anyone was home when the fire broke out. The third floor of the building was apparently being used as a marijuana grow house, much to the surprise of neighbors.
“The only thing I noticed is every so often I’d see people around the building and I just initially thought it was a doctor’s office,” one person told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.
One woman, who asked that CBS2 not show her face, said the idea of the building said lately there has been peculiar activity around the building.
“Here is really quiet,” she said. “That doesn’t really happen. I’ve been here for nine years and lately I’ve seen young people coming and they gather and I smell … you know what the smell is … marijuana.”
“It’s a little surprising, but especially this area is pretty nice. But like I said, it’s the Bronx,” neighbor Ketan Bedmutha added.
Firefighters managed to get the flames under control within an hour. The cause is under investigation.
The fire was similar to the deadly blast that killed a fire chief in the Bronx two years ago. Michael Fahy was responding to a gas leak at a house in Kingsbridge when it suddenly exploded, hitting him with flying debris.
Investigators later found marijuana plants, heaters and fertilizer at the site.