On Oct. 4, New York prosecutors announced that two men would face criminal charges for a home explosion that killed a Bronx firefighter. The men will likely face first-degree assault charges for the death of a 44-year-old firefighter and second-degree assault charges for injuring a lieutenant. Prosecutors said that the men will not at this time be charged with murder or manslaughter, but that could change as the investigation develops.
The incident that led to the assault charges occurred on Sept. 27 after a gas leak was reported on W. 234th Street. Firefighters responded to the home that was allegedly filled with flammable items and marijuana plants. When the house exploded, a firefighter was fatally struck by flying debris. The two accused men face felony drug charges in addition to the assault charges.
Though the men are likely facing assault charges, prosecutors said that there is still a possibility that the charges could be elevated. If an investigation into the explosion reveals that a gas line was tampered with, the men could be charged with murder or manslaughter. The next court date in the case was scheduled to take place on Oct. 19.
A person who has been charged in a similar incident may argue that an explosion at their home was not connected to alleged drug activities. An attorney may be able to help a defendant to gather evidence that proves that the gas lines in a home were unsafe because of factors that were out of the defendant's control. If the defendant called to report the gas leak, an attorney may argue that there is no evidence that the explosion was intentional.
Source: New York Daily News, "Bronx drug house blast suspects charged with felony assault," Ben Kochman, Oct. 4, 2016