THE BRONX — Two men pleaded guilty to manslaughter Friday in the September 2016 marijuana “grow house” explosion that killed FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.
Garivaldi Castillo, 32, of Manhattan admitted he built the grow house and sealed up the windows, preventing the room from being ventilated for gas.
Fahy, 44, was responding to reports of a gas leak at the site in late September 2016, ordering residents to leave, when the house exploded.
A piece of the slate roof hit Fahy, a father of three, in the head, killing him.
Under the plea deal Castillo made with prosecutors, Castillo will get two to six years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.
Julio Salcedo, 34, who was managing the grow house, will get one to three years in prison at sentencing, according to the plea agreement.
Bronx District Attorney, Darcel Clark, noted Friday, “This is an extremely rare instance where someone is being held criminally responsible for conditions that caused the death of a firefighter in the line of duty in New York City.”
The DA said of the victim, “Battalion Chief Fahy spent the last moments of his life of public service saving others. He responded to a gas-infused building and ordered the residents—including one of the defendants—to leave. When the gas exploded, it blew off the slate roof and a section of it struck and killed him. These defendants today have pleaded guilty to constructing a marijuana grow house, in which they sealed the windows of the second floor, prohibiting the ventilation of leaking gas, recklessly causing the death of Chief Fahy.”
Fahy was promoted posthumously by the FDNY to Deputy Chief.
A source told PIX11 Fahy’s widow and the fire union approved the plea bargain, before the defendants were allowed to plead guilty in court.