Grow House Explosion Lands 2 in Prison for Fire Chief’s Death


Sentenced to 2 to 6 Years for Blast that Killed Battalion Chief


NEW YORK– The weed heads who coverted a Bronx home into a grow house that exploded were sentenced. The blast took the life of an FDNY Battalion Chief. 



Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced that two men have been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to second-degree Manslaughter in the marijuana grow house explosion that killed FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy.


The victim had responded to a reported gas leak in the building in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.


District Attorney Clark said, “Battalion Chief Michael Fahy spent the last moments of his life saving others. 


“He responded to a gas-infused building and instructed the residents—including one of the defendants—to evacuate.


“When the gas exploded, it blew off the slate roof and a section of it struck and killed Chief Fahy, and injured FDNY Lieutenant Richard Ruebenacker.



“This case was an extremely rare instance in which someone is held criminally responsible for conditions that caused the death of a firefighter in the line of duty in New York City.


“I hope the prison sentences will send a message to those who would be callous about the safety of residents and first responders,” Clark said.


The defendants, Garivaldi Castillo, 33, of Manhattan, and Julio Salcedo, 36, of unknown address, pleaded guilty to second-degree Manslaughter and first-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana on July 13, 2018. 


As part of the plea agreement, Castillo was sentenced today by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett to two to six years in prison for the Manslaughter charge and five years on the Marijuana charge, to run concurrently. 



Salcedo was sentenced to one to three years in prison for the Manslaughter charge and four years for the Marijuana charge, to run concurrently.


According to the investigation, on September 27, 2016, firefighters responded to the two-story building at 300 West 234 Street in Kingsbridge for a gas leak. 


They found numerous marijuana plants as well as heaters and fertilizer, allegedly maintained by Castillo and Salcedo.


The windows on the 2nd floor were covered by foil panels, preventing the 2nd floor from being ventilated of the leaking gas.

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