NYPD investigating claims officer left elderly woman in hallway to die during Rockaways fire

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens (WABC) -- It was a raging inferno in the Rockaways with police rushing in a high-rise apartment building.

The police were heroes on that day last week - except to Marcia Davis. Speaking to Eyewitness News, Davis described the officer who she said came barging into her 12th floor apartment and carried her 91-year-old mother, Ethel out of her bedroom, against her will.

"I begged him not to take her out, but he insisted on it - he wouldn't listen to me. He just wouldn't listen to me," says Davis.

Davis says she kept telling police that her mother would not survive.

"That's what I kept saying - 'get out, get out!' That's what he kept saying," Davis adds.

The family knew it was a fireproof apartment - no smoke had entered their unit.

Davis says the officer made it as far as the hallway, and then left her mother on the floor to die.

"I said 'mom we gotta go now, I'm starting to choke. I'm afraid. I'm choking. And then I said 'I'm going to leave now. Bye and I love you," she added.

The Davis family's attorney, Peter S. Thomas says the officers had good intentions, but police should have let firefighters do their job.

"Marcia Davis will never be able to forget the image of her mother being left in this hallway by an officer who she demanded not to take over," Thomas said.

They 'created' an emergency, he says - first by opening a hallway door on their floor, allowing smoke to spread. Then, by removing the 91-year-old from a place of safety, and then leaving her in a place of danger.

The fire department never evacuated the building.
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