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Two in custody in connection with Bronx house explosion

Posted: 8:50 PM, Sep 28, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-28 20:50:45-04

BRONX, N.Y. — A second person is in police custody in connection with a marijuana grow house in the Bronx that exploded, killing FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, 44, on Tuesday.

Suspect Garivaldi Castillo, 32, was charged with felony possession of marijuana, and walked by detectives from the 50th Precinct into an unmarked cruiser to be transported to court.

Parked outside of the NYPD station house when Castillo was walked were two fire engines and a hook and ladder engine from Chief Fahy's battalion. The two dozen or so firefighters on hand looked on but kept silent as detectives led Castillo past them and into the car.

Castillo also made no comment as he was led off to court in handcuffs.

Police sources believe Castillo's marijuana was in the Bronx home that exploded Tuesday, killing Fahy and injuring 20 people.

Police are unable to determine exactly how much marijuana was in the home because of the explosion. However, many marijuana plants that had been grown at the house at 304 West 234th Street remained intact after the explosion.

Investigators are examining them now, as well as other evidence.

"Whether or not marijuana was some cause, we'll look at, but we'll look at other causes as well," said ATF spokesman Matthew Myerson at the blast scene on Wednesday.

In addition to Castillo, Julio Salcedo, 34, a tenant in the exploded home, was brought into police custody Tuesday. He was charged with a misdemeanor but is being questioned in relation to the explosion.

Police confirm they'd been investigating the home as a possible marijuana grow house for weeks prior to the explosion.