Ray Cooney, a husband and proud father of three, is a retired New York City firefighter. While attempting to take a second floor window, back in November 2003, a back draft knocked him from his ladder. His fall landed him in the hospital with extensive back and hip injuries. The injuries he sustained, forced him into retirement. A few surgeries and one titanium hip later, Ray was back to finding new ways to keep his passion for the fire department alive. He joined the Bayport Volunteer Fire Department as a class B volunteer firefighter. Although he cannot fight fires anymore, he stays actively involved with fire prevention programs for the local children of Bayport and the surrounding areas as well as helping with and organizing fundraisers for the local fire department community.
In July of 2010, while recovering from one of his hip surgeries, he decided to use the down time as a chance to pursue his love of television and screenwriting. With help from his nephew, a film student graduate, they wrote their first screen play. Thus, the beginning of Smoke Eater Films. Since then, Ray has created over fifteen screenplays and wrote nine television shows. Ray’s most recent project is, Firehouse Kitchen. Firehouse Kitchen blends two aspects of Ray's life. One it satisfies his love of film and all things fire department and two, it gives him the ability to raise money for the Islip Town Fire Museum and the different burn centers in New York. The Islip Town Fire museum is being built outside of Duck's Stadium in Central Islip, New York. Its main purpose is to bring honor to the fire departments on display in the museum and educate the public on fire prevention and safety. Ray truly enjoys visiting his fellow firefighters in their "Firehouse Kitchen."