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Police Report: Gas Fireplace Suspected in South Church Lane Fire

16ChurchLaneSExteriorAn automatic alarm alerted residents and firefighters to a fire in a South Church Lane house at 4:43 a.m., March 24. Upon waking up, the residents – a man, a woman and a two-year-old granddaughter – saw wispy clouds of light smoke in the air. Firefighters arrived and assisted residents as they evacuated. Firefighters found a living room under construction and sealed off with plastic. It was charged with heavy smoke. Hose lines were stretched into the house to combat the fire at its source and fire traveling through the walls to the second floor. A burned hole was already apparent in the master bedroom16ChurchInterior floor, and some furnishings had started to burn. Crews opened walls and quickly knocked down the fire. They continued working to extinguish the fire. In addition to career firefighters, volunteer firefighters and mutual aid partners provided assistance. Con Edison shut off and secured utilities.

The first and second floors were overhauled, and foam was applied to charred areas to prevent rekindling. Fans were brought in for ventilation. The residents told firefighters a gas fireplace had been installed the previous day, and residents were told to turn it on and run it. The fireplace was turned off around 5:45 p.m., when the residents went out for dinner. Prior to going out, one of the residents smelled burning wood, but she thought a neighbor might be using a wood-burning fireplace. Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps evaluated the residents for possible injuries as a precaution. One resident complained of a sore throat.

DWI arrest
While conducting routine patrol on Post Road in the early morning hours of March 24, police observed a 1999 Mercedes travelling at a low rate of speed, swerving and repeatedly crossing the pavement markings. The turned processed onto Burgess Road, Richbell Road, Lakin Road and Birch Lane, where it came to a stop. Police conducted a traffic stop to speak with the driver – Steven Edney, 44, of White Plains. He was sitting in the car, with the keys in the ignition and the motor running. His breath smelled of alcohol, and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. With slurred speech, he told police he was on his way to his girlfriend’s house, and he thought he was in Eastchester. When asked how many alcoholic drinks he had consumed, he answered, “I have nothing in the car.” He failed field sobriety tests, and an alco-sensor test indicated the presence of alcohol on Edney’s breath, with a reading of .25. He was arrested and taken to headquarters at that time. During the process of arrest, Edney became agitated and told police he was a citizen of the UK. He said police “would be sorry for arresting him.” At headquarters he refused to allow handcuffs to be removed while in the holding cell and he refused to answer questions. He agreed to submit to a Datamaster test, which registered a blood alcohol reading of .22. After the test had been completed, Edney asked police to remove the handcuffs, and the handcuffs were removed. Edney was charged with driving while intoxicated (first offense), aggravated DWI with a blood alcohol level of .18 or more with no priors and moving from a lane unsafely. Due to Edney being a foreign national, the UK Embassy was notified. Edney was released on his own recognizance with an appearance ticket to appear at Scarsdale Village Justice Court on March 27. His car was left parked on Birch Lane, and his girlfriend picked him up.

Staff at DeCicco’s Marketplace reported they were holding a shoplifter and waiting for police March 21. The suspect – a 73-year-old white man – had been observed placing items in his pockets while shopping in the store. He also was seen placing items in a shopping basket. He went to the checkout counter and paid for items in the basket but attempted to leave the store with items in his pockets. The items the man attempted to steal amounted to $39.62 of grocery items. In the presence of police, the man returned the items to the store and apologized to store management. Store management advised they did not want to press charges at that time. The man was advised he was no longer welcome in the store.

Identity theft
On March 19, a Carthage Road woman reported someone opened a fraudulent Verizon account in her name in December. A flip phone was purchased at the time the account was opened. The account accumulated an unpaid balance in the amount of $265.57. The woman notified Verizon that the account was fraudulent, and the account was closed.

Criminal mischief
On March 20, a Stratton Road woman reported someone spray-painted the front bumper of her car blue sometime between March 13 and 15. She believes the vandalism occurred while the car was parked in her driveway. Damage was estimated at $500.

A Post Road resident reported an attempted scam took place March 20. The scam involved someone contacting the resident to say she should pay restitution due to the allegation that she shared the same name as a person involved in a high profile criminal case.

Welfare check
At the request of an out-of-state son, police checked the welfare of the son’s Edgewood parents March 18. They were OK. They had just unplugged their phone for the night to prevent being disturbed.

An Eastchester man walked into headquarters and reported that two guns, worth $100 each, had gotten lost in the mail while the parts were being shipped to Arizona for engraving March 21. They had been mailed from the Scarsdale Post Office to an incorrect address, due to the face that the engraver had switched addresses without the man’s knowledge. According to the U.S. Postal Service, the package had been scheduled for rerouting but apparently never left the post office in Arizona. Postal police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were notified. The owner was advised to get a local police report number, so officials could start an investigation due to the nature of the package.

On March 24, a Greenacres man came to headquarters to request documentation regarding the destruction of his legally owned LRB Arms Model M15SA weapon, due to the fact that he was relocating to Washington, D.C., where he was not allowed to possess the assault rifle. After explaining the reason for requiring documentation, the man gave the gun receiver – a part of the gun – to police for destruction. Police cut the receiver into two pieces to destroy it and conducted a search to verify that the gun had been legally registered, was not reported as stolen and had not been involved in a crime. The police report noted that the man did not turn over any other parts of the gun, besides the receiver.

A School Lane resident reported seeing dry footprints on her deck, as well as a window screen that had fallen out of it window March 19. Police walked the perimeter of the house and found nothing suspicious. They examined the footprints, which seemed to lead to an electrical outlet and off the deck. Police called a contractor who had recently performed work at the house, and he said his crew had walked on the deck to plug in a microwave for use in heating up their lunch.

A package was delivered to a Berwick Road address, but the name on the package did not match anyone’s name who resided at the house March 21. Police and the resident contacted the shipper who said to discard the package.

An Overlook Road resident reported a squirrel in her basement March 20. Police provided the resident with trappers’ contact info.

A woman who owed fines for unpaid parking tickets, in the amount of $390, was advised to pay the fines in Village Justice Court March 19.

Cars and roadways
Police notified Verizon about low-hanging wires on Lenox Place and marked the wires with police tape March 18.

A car’s paint got damaged, ostensibly from an opening door, while the car was parked in an Overhill Road parking garage March 19.

On March 21, police issued a summons to the registered owner of a car parked in violation of the three-hour parking limitation on Brayton Road.

On March 21, a New York City driver sustained two flat tires from a pothole located at Garden and Cushman roads. The driver’s 2013 Ford was towed from the scene and the highway department was dispatched to assess the roadway.

Seven car accidents were reported in the village during the reporting period.

A Walworth Avenue resident complained that a woman walking a dog “off leash” allowed the dog to relieve itself on her driveway March 19. When the resident advised the woman that she did not want the dog urinating on her driveway, the woman allegedly said, “Get a sign.” Police advised the resident to contact police again if the situation continues to happen or appears intentional.

Police reunited a loose dog found on Mamaroneck Road with its owner March 20.

According to Scarsdale Fire Chief James Seymour, firefighters responded to 40 incidents during the reporting period. He shared the following details.

On March 18, firefighters provided mutual aid to Hartsdale Fire Department.
Firefighters removed a burning pot of food from a stove in a Ross Road house March 18. No one was home at the time. Firefighters took the pot outside, turned off the stove and ventilated the house by opening the windows.

Firefighters stood by for Con Edison at the site of a gas odor near the front door of a Heathcote Road structure March 19. Con Edison found no evidence of a gas leak.
Elevated gas readings were detected by gas meters at a Montrose Road house March 19. Firefighters stood by for Con Edison.

Firefighters checked the Bronx River for a reported “spill in the river” March 20. There, firefighters found a fuel tank cleaning company cleaning up approximately 200 gallons of fuel oil that was accidentally spilled when a tank malfunctioned during a fill-up. The fuel made its way into storm drains and ended up in the river. Firefighters assisted cleanup personnel by placing additional spill booms in the river to absorb the spilled fuel. The county’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Health Department, as well as public safety members and firefighters from other affected jurisdictions, were involved in the effort.

On March 21, a generator and power washer, with gasoline in their tanks, were being stored in a Heathcote Road parish basement and emitting a gas odor. Firefighters advised parish staff to remove the items and store them in a better-ventilated place.

A basement dimmer switch in a Fairview Road house was emitting a burning odor March 21. Firefighters de-energized the switch at the breaker box, checked the walls and confirmed nothing was burning inside and advised the resident to call an electrician for repair.

A burning odor inside a Penn Road house was caused by an internal problem with the panel March 21. After firefighters checked the house, the homeowner called an electrician to make repairs.

This report covering police and fire department activity from March 18-24 has been compiled from official information.

This police report is sponsored by Scarsdale Security who does more than just security. Contact them about remote video for your home or business. Call 914-722-2200 or visit their website.scarsdalesecuritylogo 1 1

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