Growhouse suspects charegd with manslaughter

The two men police say are responsible for an explosion that killed FDNY Captain Michael Fahy now face manslaughter charges.
File photo

Two men accused of running the Kingsbridge grow house that exploded last fall killing an FDNY captain now face manslaughter charges, according to the Bronx D.A.’s office.

Garivaldi Castillo, 32, of Manhattan and Julio Salcedo, 34, of the Bronx were arrested following a gas explosion on Tuesday, September 27 at a multi-family home that killed FDNY Captain Michael Fahy of Yonkers and injured several other responders from the FDNY and Con Edison.

“Chief Fahy responded to a situation that was a catastrophe waiting to happen,” said District Attorney Darcel Clark. “These defendants allegedly were growing marijuana, and had sealed the windows of the building, trapping leaking gas. Chief Fahy ordered residents out of the building– including one of the defendants – and saved their lives. When the gas exploded, it blew off the slate roof and a section of it struck and killed him.”

Fahy, 44, was a 17-year department member and a chief for the FDNY’s 19th Battalion.

A second-generation FDNY officer, Fahy had left a lucrative law career to join the FDNY.

His funeral in his Westchester hometown drew thousands of firefighters from across the tri-state region.

He left behind a wife and three young children.

The men are accused of using the home at 300 W. 234th Street to grow marijuana plants using grow lights and fertilizer and tanks of helium, according to the indictment.

The early morning blast on September 27 not only reduced much of the home to rubble, but also damaged neighboring homes on the residential block.

The new indictment unsealed Tuesday, June 6, charge the men with second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony.

It alleges the men are guilty of causing Fahy’s death by sealing the windows of the building, which trapped flammable gas in the building that led to the fatal blast.

Part of the home’s slate roof came down on Fahy, causing his fatal injuries, the indictment alleges.

The men are due back in court on Tuesday, September 5.

Investigators determined the explosion was caused by a gas main that had been tampered with on the property.

The makeshift gas line was illegally diverting gas into the apartment for use in the operation, according to police.

Castillo and Salcedo had previously been charged with first-degree assault, a class B violent felony, second-degree assault, a class D violent felony, and criminal possession of marijuana, a class D felony.

“I am pleased that Bronx district attorney Darcel Clark raised the charge against those charged with causing the explosion that killed battalion Chief Michael J. Fahy. Chief Fahy tragic death was apparently caused by people using a private home in a residential community as an illegal drug facility. Chief Fahd died a hero. Those responsible for his death should pay the highest price and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I look forward to justice being carried out,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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