Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Legal

New York Convent Fire Investigation Includes Hate Crimes Task Force

Two suspicious, early-morning fires ripped through a Staten Island (NY) convent and chapel — trapping a nun upstairs and forcing her to make a desperate leap from the second floor that broke her back, reports The New York Post.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation of the 5:30 a.m. fire in the Arrochar section.

Sister Regina Gegic and another nun were staying in an older, mostly unused residential building at the St. Joseph Hill Academy on Saturday morning when she saw the fire.

Gegic broke three vertebrae from her jump but could move her feet and was being treated at Staten Island University Hospital’s intensive-care unit, according to a co-worker.

More than a dozen nuns are visiting the convent from all over the globe — England, Austria, Hungary, Brazil, Wisconsin, Indiana — for the 100th anniversary of Daughters of Divine Charity in the United States, which runs the academy.

Five people were hurt in Saturday’s two-alarm fire, which started just after 5:30 a.m. and was under control about an hour later, fire officials said.

Four firefighters were also hurt but in stable condition at Staten Island University Hospital.

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