Fight Breaks Out Between Cops and Residents as Firefighters Battle Bronx Blaze

WNBC 4 - September 04, 2019

Firefighters battling flames inside a Bronx building weren’t the only ones getting hot Tuesday afternoon, as tempers flared between police officers and residents right outside the burning building.

More than 100 firefighters were called to battle the flames shooting out of a sixth floor apartment kitchen near East 171st Street in Grand Concourse. The fire broke out around 4:30 p.m., and neighbors used the fire escape to climb from the smoke-filled units and to safety.

But meanwhile a fiery confrontation was going on outside the building, as tensions rose between heated tenants and police officers called to the scene to help clear the crowds, in order for the firefighters to quickly get in and out of the building.

The fight started as crowds refused to make way as cops demanded they move. Police say a 39-year-old woman ripped an officer’s body camera off and threw it to the ground, while another person threw a carton of milk at the cops before running off.

The woman who chucked the bodycam was arrested and faced several charges including harassment and grand larceny, police said. She has not been identified.

Thankfully none of the tenants inside the building were hurt in the flames, although five families have been displaced. Five firefighters suffered minor injuries, most dealing with smoke inhalation.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fire.