Firefighter arrested for fake 911 call

CITY ISLAND - A firefighter was taken into police custody Thursday after allegedly making a fake 911 call claiming a City Island school was on fire.

Nicholas Vrettos, 30, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident in the first degree; a crime that might put the firefighter behind bars for seven years. Authorities say he made the call from the auto body shop he runs.

The fake emergency call was made Dec. 4, shortly after Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta announced that the number of firefighters working the night shift would be cut in half at four firehouses, including Ladder 53, where Vrettos is employed.

Some local residents say although they understand the firefighter was trying to make a statement by allegedly placing the fake phone call, he chose the wrong way to do it.

?I think he handled it the wrong way,? says Yalking Hernandez, of City Island. ?But I don?t think he should do any jail time because he?s trying to prove a point; they definitely do need more firefighters on the island.?

Police say more false alarms were made on the same day, and there could be more arrests in the near future.

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