NEW YORK, NY — The FDNY cleaned house at a Brooklyn station — nicknamed the “Friendly firehouse” — after the alleged bullying of a Muslim firefighter who then threatened to shoot co-workers, fire sources said.
Two captains, four lieutenants and two firefighters were “temporarily transferred” out of Engine 309/Ladder 159 in Flatlands on Wednesday, two weeks after a firefighter at the station flipped out and threatened to kill colleagues, fire sources told The Post.
Raheem Hassan, 30, was arrested on Dec. 27 after a threatening, Dec. 20 phone call to a fellow smoke eater, court records showed.
“I’m going to kill the guys in the firehouse,” Hassan threatened, according to the criminal complaint against him.
“He told them he was going to shoot up the firehouse and kill everyone in the fire house,” an FDNY insider told The Post.
Hassan, who is a Muslim, had been taunted and slurred over his faith leading to his meltdown, fire sources said. He has not been suspended, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said Friday.
He was charged with misdemeanor second-degree aggravated harassment. The firehouse was briefly barricaded and shut down immediately after the telephone threats.
Hassan, reached at his Staten Island home, declined to comment, as did his lawyer, Robert Gallo.
The station, at 1851 E. 48th St. in Brooklyn, had enjoyed a fun, free-wheeling reputation as the “friendly firehouse.” The station house sported a smiley face on its door and uniform patch.
The reassignment of the fire officers is considered punishment, even if they’re not suspended or losing pay, the FDNY insider said.
Being sent to another house means the officers “lost their spot in the firehouse … guys don’t want to leave their firehouse,” the source said.
But Jake Lemonda, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said Friday that the officers have not been disciplined, and were only removed “to expedite the investigation.”
“The officers in question have unblemished records of fire service to the city of New York,” and are cooperating with the investigation, Lemonda said.
“The UFOA supports our officers and is also cooperating in this investigation,” he added.
“We look for a thorough and complete investigation and the return of these officers to their assignment in protecting the citizens of Brooklyn.”
Hassan, a Navy veteran and former EMS medic, had been a respected figure within the FDNY even before becoming one of New York’s Bravest in 2014.
Hassan’s house was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, but he never missed any training, electing to do home repairs at night and on weekends, sources said.
He failed to graduate on time with his academy class — but only because he was called into active duty by the Navy, fire officials said at the time.
Last March, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro issued a tough new policy forbidding firehouse hazing and bullying following Post articles exposing the sexual assault of a probationary firefighter.
The Post reported that a firefighter allegedly dangled his genitals into the face of probie Gordon Springs in a first-day hazing ritual at Midtown’s Ladder 35/Engine 40.
From The New York Post