Deutsche Bank fire trial progresses

Jurors listened to concluding statements made by both plaintiffs and defendants on Tuesday, June 14, marking the final stage of the two-month-long manslaughter trial on the deaths of two firefighters in a 2007 blaze at the former Deutsche Bank tower at 130 Liberty St.

The summations came after final testimonies made on Mon., June 7, which will help determine the fate of defendants Jeffrey Melofchik, Salvatore DePaola and Mitchel Alvo, as well as the John Galt Corporation. Jurors listened to more than 70 witnesses for the case, which charges the men and the contractor with displacing a pipe that was needed to provide water to the building’s upper floors on the day of the fire.

The defendants blame a faulty ventilation system, rather than the standpipe, for causing firefighters Joseph Graffagnino Sr. and Robert Beddia to die of smoke inhalation. They also accuse government inspectors for failing to hold basement abatement construction workers for severing the pipe.

The defendants could face up to 25 years in person if sentenced.