Teen Charged With Murder in Fire That Killed NYPD Cop

Saturday, Apr 12, 2014  |  Updated 5:57 AM CDT
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The 16-year-old boy who allegedly set the mattress fire in a Coney Island apartment building is now facing a charge of second degree murder.  Two NYPD officers ran into the building to warn residents.  One of those officers died of his injuries. Andrew Siff reports.

The 16-year-old boy who allegedly set the mattress fire in a Coney Island apartment building is now facing a charge of second degree murder. Two NYPD officers ran into the building to warn residents. One of those officers died of his injuries. Andrew Siff reports.

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Charges have been upgraded to murder for the 16-year-old boy who allegedly set a mattress on fire in a Coney Island apartment building, sparking a blaze that killed a veteran NYPD officer who responded to the blaze, authorities say.

Teenager Marcell Dockery was charged Friday with second-degree murder; he had already faced charges of assault, reckless endangerment and arson. Detectives say the boy told them he lit the mattress on fire because he was bored. 

Dennis Guerra, 38, and his partner, 36-year-old Rosa Rodriguez, were among the first police officers who responded to the fire Sunday afternoon in the building on Surf Avenue.

The two took an elevator to the 13th floor to warn residents and help evacuate the building, but when they emerged from the elevator they were overcome by smoke.

Both officers, who are members of the force's housing bureau, were found unconscious by firefighters. Guerra, a married father of four and seven-year NYPD veteran, died of his injuries Wednesday morning. He had two daughters, 20 and 14, and two sons, 17 and 7. 

Rodriguez is still recovering.

Five people suffered minor injuries, including two firefighters, authorities said. 
Dockery's attorney, Jesse Young, warned against a "rush to judgment" and said Friday his client is innocent.

--Andrew Siff contributed to this story

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