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FDNY firefighter accused of DWI, stealing firetruck

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An off-duty New York City firefighter from Palisades is accused of breaking into a New Jersey firehouse and taking its truck for a drunken ride to a nearby fire scene, police said yesterday.

Raymond Oprey of 33 Horne Tooke Road was charged with burglary and driving while intoxicated when he responded Thursday to a three-alarm fire just south of the New York border in a Rockleigh, N.J., firetruck despite not being a member of that department, police said.

The 33-year-old arrived alone at the Closter Commons Shopping Center on Piermont Road about 11:50 p.m., about 45 minutes after the fire was reported, said Sgt. James Winters of the Closter Police Department.

Oprey was seen driving across a grass median and into the parking lot of the shopping center. When he got out of the pumper truck, he reported to the command post behind the buildings, police said.

“He was driving erratically when he came in,” Winters said. “Police detained him and immediately noticed he was intoxicated.”

Closter police charged him with driving while intoxicated and refusing a Breathalyzer test, both misdemeanors; and three traffic violations, including using a motor vehicle without consent, careless driving and driving without headlights.

Northvale police, who have jurisdiction over Rockleigh, yesterday charged Oprey with burglary and unlawfully taking a firetruck, both third-degree felonies.

Oprey was not a member of the Rockleigh Volunteer Fire Department, Northvale Police Chief Bruce Tietjen said yesterday.

“He’s not known to the chief,” Tietjen said, referring to the Rockleigh fire chief, who has about15 to 20 volunteers in his department.

Tietjen said there was no sign of forced entry at the firehouse and police were investigating how Oprey learned of the fire and gained access to the truck.

Oprey works at Ladder 50 in the Bronx and has been a firefighter for three years, the New York Fire Department confirmed yesterday.

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