Barred from Stations, FDNY Groupies Go Online

When firefighters told Christine Cuocolo, 34, to stop surprise visits and Facebook postings, her adoration twisted into obsession and fury.


“He pretended to be a firefighter. He never was one,” she said.

Cuocolo, a divorced mother of three, left Main less than a month after they got together, she said. According to a police report, she accused him of hitting her in the face and chest at a Times Square McDonald’s on April 18. She called cops, who charged Main with assault and harassment. Main could not be reached for comment.

Cuocolo acknowledges that she then gave Main’s Facebook password to Battista, but she denies that she knew he’d post a threat. Both Battista, who spent a month in the upstate Monroe County jail, and Main have been released on their own recognizance pending hearings.

Firefighters pity Cuocolo. “I think she’s just a person who needs some help. She is not very mature and is easily manipulated,” one said.

Firefighters told The Post that Cuocolo was no longer welcome at Engine 65 because of her bizarre behavior.

“If she were to come by the firehouse again the guys have been instructed not to let her in and to call the cops,” a firefighter told The Post.

They take some blame for being kind to the tourists and “regulars” who flock to Manhattan firehouses. Their warmth can be misinterpreted.

“Some mistake our niceness for something more than it is,” one said. “Some people don’t realize it’s a job. They think it’s our job to entertain them. These people are interfering.”

Fanning the flames, he said, are TV shows like “Rescue Me” and movies like “Backdraft,” in which William Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh tryst in the fire station.

“Some people think that’s what happens, but it does not,” the married dad said.

Occasionally, though, it does. The Bravest have been wary of “badge bunnies” and “badge bangers,” women who seek to hook up with heroes, since an August 2004 scandal in which a Staten Island woman, Jennifer Swanton, 35, had sex with three firefighters inside Engine 75/Ladder 33 in The Bronx. The FDNY later removed beds, video games and TVs from all firehouses.

Now, even home-baked gifts go in the trash, said another Midtown firefighter. Told that Cuocolo had made a crack about putting Ex-Lax in her dough, as one buff reported, the firefighter said:

“That’s why you never eat open cookies. You say no, and sometimes they go crazy. So you just say, ‘Thank you, Thank you.’ ”

susan.edelman@nypost.com