FDNY investigating possible sexual misconduct, hazing at Brooklyn's 'friendly firehouse'
A Brooklyn fire station nicknamed “the friendly firehouse” is being investigated for being a hotbed of hazing, bullying, threats and sexual misconduct, the Daily News has learned.
FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro cleared out the embattled firehouse — where a gigantic smiley face is emblazoned on the door — last week, transferring six fire officers and two firefighters from Engine 309/Ladder 159 on E. 48th St. in Flatlands, sources with knowledge of the allegations said.
The department is also investigating the stationhouse’s other nickname — one that is not so friendly.
Station members created a group text site they called the “F— Shop” and shared photos of their privates, usually positioned in unsuspecting and sleeping members’ faces, according to the allegations.
Those transferred are accused of harassing firefighter Raheem Hassan, who was arrested last week when he allegedly threatened his tormentors.
Cops cuffed Hassan on Dec. 27, about a week after he allegedly said he wanted to kill the firefighters in the house during a phone call with a supervisor.
Hassan’s alleged threat was reported to police by Lt. David Hughes, one of the six fire officers being transferred, sources said.
A judge ordered Hassan’s release during a brief arraignment in Staten Island Criminal Court.
He has to respond to the charges in court at the end of February.
Hassan had reported problems with some of his fellow firefighters to officers, sources told The News.
A practicing Muslim, Hassan stopped eating “family” meals with other firefighters because they tried to trick him into consuming pork — and sometimes rolled his food in bacon grease, sources said.
Hassan, a Navy veteran, was an EMS medic before going to the fire academy in 2013.
Even though his home had been destroyed by Hurricane Sandy a few months earlier, he never missed a day of training and worked on his house nights and weekends as his wife and son lived in their temporary home, according to the FDNY’s Flickr account.
At the time, his fellow firefighters came together to donate time and supplies to help him rebuild.
He never graduated with his class because he was ultimately called back to active duty with the Navy in the middle of his training.
Attempts to reach Hassan for comment were unsuccessful Thursday night.
The FDNY confirmed the transfers and the investigation when contacted.
“The department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office and the bureau of investigation and trials are investigating all the allegations at the firehouse,” FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer said.
Emails and phone calls to the FDNY’s officers union, the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, for comment were not immediately returned.
Last year the FDNY issued a stricter policy against firehouse hazing after a probationary smoke-eater sued the department, alleging sexual and racial harassment by fellow firefighters.
Nigro was so incensed by the allegations he took the unprecedented step of calling all 900 FDNY officers to Randalls Island so he could personally deliver the department’s tougher no-hazing policy.
- Join the Conversation: