Dean Meminger, the former Knicks great nicknamed "The Dream," is in a burn unit at Jacobi Hospital after suffering injuries from a four-alarm fire in the Bronx. The Fire Department is continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze, after reports that crack pipes were found in a building where the fire was started—and some of the crack pipes may have been in Meminger's rented room.
The Daily News reports, "Meminger, a key backup on the 1973 championship Knicks, was found unconscious near the bed in his room at a dilapidated SRO on Sunday night. Several crack pipes were found in the room and the hallway of the building on Findlay Ave. in Claremont, FDNY sources said." The NY Times also says, "Investigators discovered several crack pipes inside 1308 Findlay Avenue, where the four-alarm fire began at 9:20 p.m. on Sunday, city officials said. Mr. Meminger, 62, lived on the second floor of the building and was unconscious when he was discovered in his room and pulled from the flames."
However, the Post offers, "Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and fire officials denied a report that crack pipes were found in Meminger's apartment and that they caused the fire... Because his home and six others have been deemed unstable, investigators have been unable to return and determine the fire's origin, officials said." (Dozens of people are also homeless after the fire, which spread to neighboring houses.)
The News spoke to Meminger's brother, who said he last spoke to him on Labor Day, "He was in a good place. He has supporters who call him every day. He was clean as best I know." And in this 2003 Times feature, Meminger described his battles with drugs and efforts to turn his life around; his son, the NY1 reporter Dean Meminger Jr., told the paper at the time, "There were tough days when he didn't want to speak to me or see me. But you know that's not the person you love; that's the drugs. I've held his hand on the way to recovery. My father is a good person; he's just battling a horrible disease."