DA announces criminal charges in Deutsche Bank fire

December 22, 2008 01:49PM

Manhattan
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced today the indictment of
several managers and companies involved in the deaths of two firefighters in the
August 18, 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty
Street.

Those indicted include the site safety manager, Jeffrey
Melofchik; the project’s construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease; Mitchel Alvo, the director of
abatement for Bovis’ subcontractor, the John Galt Corp.; and Salvatore
DePaola, a John Galt Corp. foreman. If found guilty, all those indicted face up to 17 years in jail.

In addition, the district attorney’s office reached an agreement with
the city and Bovis, requiring them both to
institute major remedial safety measures to prevent another fire. The
city will create an inspections unit within the FDNY called the “Fire
Prevention CDA Inspection Team,” which will consist of 25 inspectors
who will focus exclusively on inspecting buildings under construction,
demolition or abatement.

The district attorney said the fire at the Deutsche Bank building was caused by a cigarette
discarded in the south vestibule on the 17th floor. The contractors
allegedly violated city rules and regulations in the way they conducted the
abatement and deconstruction of the building, dismantled a large
section of sandpipe in the basement, and filed a false report saying
the pipe was in working order.  And, neither the city nor the FDNY
conducted an inspection of the building, which would have revealed the
disabled sandpipe, the DA said. TRD


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