What to Know
- The NYPD has a person of interest in custody in the subway fire that killed a 36-year-old train operator and injured 16 other people early Friday
- Large plumes of smoke were seen billowing from grates above the station at 110th Street and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan
- Police are investigating the fire as an act of arson. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS
A person of interest is in custody in connection with a subway fire that killed a 36-year-old train operator and injured 16 other people last week, an NYPD spokesman told News 4 Monday.
The individual, who has multiple prior arrests dating back to 1987, is in custody on an unrelated charge, the spokesman said. Cops are investigating the blaze as an act of arson; it wasn't immediately clear if the person in custody was the same man authorities released a photo of days ago in their search to find a suspect.
NYPD, FDNY fire marshals and ATF investigators responded to the 1, 2 and 3-train subway station at 110th Street and Lenox Avenue in Manhattan shortly before 3:30 a.m. Friday after large plumes of smoke were seen billowing from grates on the street.
Emergency responders found three men and one woman suffering from smoke inhalation at the scene, the NYPD said. A fifth man, 36-year-old train operator Garrett Goble, of Brooklyn, was found on the train roadbed, according to police. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said Goble had worked with the MTA for six years and had a 5-month-old child.
"This is a terrible tragedy for this young train operator, his family, and for the entire transit workforce," Utano said in a statement. "A young man serving the public during a national crisis was killed at just 36 years of age."
"Our conductor acted heroically to move passengers to the platform out of danger and deserves our deepest thanks and support for his bravery," Utano added.
A total of 16 people aside from Goble, some of them firefighters, were hurt. The NYPD on Saturday said the three men and one woman found suffering from smoke inhalation at the scene were in stable condition.