2 men charged with assault in Bronx grow house explosion that killed FDNY battalion chief

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KINGSBRIDGE, The Bronx — Two men have been indicted on charges in a Bronx grow house explosion that killed FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy in September.

Garivaldi Castillo, 32, and Julio Salcedo, 34,were indicted Wednesday on charges of first-degree assault; second-degree assault and first-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Firefighters responded to a fire at a home on W. 234th Street in the Kingsbridge section of the borough on Sept. 27 for a possible gas leak.

Once in the home, they found several marijuana plants along with heaters, fertilizers and tanks of helium.

Police investigators are looking at the possibility that a gas line inside the home had been tampered with to give more power to the growing operation.

Fahy was directing traffic away from the scene when the building exploded. The 44-year-old was hit by debris and killed.

“Chief Fahy responded to a building that turned out to be a time bomb. These defendants allegedly were growing marijuana and kept flammable substances on the premises. Chief Fahy ordered residents out of the building-- including one of the defendants--and saved their lives. He was mortally injured when the force of the explosion blew off the slate roof and it struck him,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark.

They will return to court on Nov. 23. If convicted of the top charge, they could face up to 25 years in prison.

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