Arson arrest in Yonkers firefighter death

October 3, 2009 5:39:21 PM PDT
Police say a tenant who was being evicted has been arrested on arson charges in a fire at a Yonkers home that killed a firefighter. Westchester officials have charged Rafael Roldan with second-degree murder, second-degree arson and second-degree burglary. [GET EYEWITNESS NEWS DELIVERED: Click here to sign up]

Roldan is being held at the Westchester County Department of Corrections but will be formally charged on Monday at Yonkers Criminal Court.

The third-alarm blaze took the life of firefighter Patrick Joyce, a 16 year veteran.

The fire broke out on the first floor of the Waverly Street house just after 1:15 a.m. Friday morning.

Firefighters rushed into the building, which had window guards, to battle the blaze.

Fire officials say Joyce, a second firefighter and a lieutenant were trapped on the third floor and were forced to jump out the window.

Firefighter Joyce, the most seriously injured firefighter was rushed to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Yonkers, where he was pronounced dead.

Lt. Joseph Murray and Firefighter William Kanych are in serious but stable condition at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

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