Off-duty New York cop saves boy from fire

By Bill Mason

NEW YORK — An off-duty New York City detective helped rescue a 4-year-old boy from a burning building in Staten Island yesterday and alerted firefighters who removed other residents, with only three suffering minor injuries, police said.

Det. Vincent DiCrescento, 39, a narcotics detective, was driving home from work in Brooklyn early yesterday morning when he saw that the residential building at 70 Windsor Rd., Staten Island, was on fire, police said.

DiCrescento drove to the building, called 911, police said, and began knocking on doors to alert occupants.

A man was calling for help from a third-floor window, police said, and with the assistance of the building's landlord, DiCrescento, who has 15 years on the police force, found an extension ladder and climbed it toward the man.

That man, his wife, and their 4-year-old son were trapped by the flames, police said, and the ladder was only able to go up the side of the building part of the way to the third floor.

The father was able to lower his son down to DiCrescento, who then transferred him to the landlord, who had climbed up the ladder behind him.

Arriving firefighters were able to remove all the other occupants of the building safely, police said. Three residents were taken for treatment of minor injuries to Staten Island University Hospital, North Site, fire officials said.

The blaze, which was reported at 4:45 a.m. was brought under control at 5:56 a.m., fire officials said. The cause of the fire was still under investigation yesterday, officials said.

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