12-28-2004, 09:30 PM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
NY - Security guard Raymond James, 32, dies in Queens arson fire, 25 Dec 2004
A "heroic" security guard suffered an excruciating death, being burned alive in an elevator on Christmas while trying to prevent an arson fire from spreading throughout a Queens apartment building. The blaze inside a garbage cart that killed 32-year-old Raymond James was set by two 13-year-old boys, whom police charged with murder yesterday.
James had tried to take the burning cart out of the building in the Arverne section of Rockaway by bringing it downstairs in an elevator, but the fire accelerated, trapping and killing him in the car, authorities said.
Chief Fire Marshal Louis Garcia called James "a selfless, heroic individual who was trying to save lives of people in the building."
"It's a tragedy that this man died on Christmas Day," Garcia said. "I feel terrible. We feel for the family. It's unbelievable."
At about 8:50 p.m. Saturday, James was working an overtime shift at an 11-story apartment building at 146 Beach 59th St. As part of his duties, he would ride the elevator from the top floor down, collecting garbage from bins left out on each floor, authorities said.
At the same time, two boys who live in the building - 13-year-old cousins - were walking around setting fire to Christmas decorations on the doors of residents' apartments, authorities said.
On the fifth floor, one resident heard a commotion and opened his door.
"I looked down the hall, and I saw two kids lighting the trash cart. When they saw me they started running. I chased after them and caught one of them" outside the building, said the 26-year-old resident, who refused to give his name, but who said he turned the boy over to other security guards.
As the man chased the boys, James arrived on the fifth floor to find the garbage bin ablaze.
When James pulled the burning garbage bin into the elevator, and the doors closed, leaving him and the bin inside, the fire swelled, and spilled over onto him, totally immersing his body in flames, authorities said.
He died quickly, and his charred body was found by security guards on the first floor when the elevator doors opened.
08-24-2015, 05:04 PM #2
From February 2005:
The two 13-year-old boys who set fire to a pushcart on Dec. 25, leading to the death of a security guard in a Rockaways housing complex, pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree murder charges...
Prosecutors and lawyers for the boys said in court that they had agreed to a deal that would likely result in an 18-month sentence for the boys in a state juvenile detention center.
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