Blaze kills two firefighters, pot grower charged with murder
Murder charged in blaze that killed two firefighters
By DAVID B. CARUSO , The Associated Press
The man police believe was responsible for the array has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
Fire Capt. John Taylor, 53, and firefighter Rey Rubio, 42, died when they were trapped by quick-moving flames as they worked near the source of the smoky blaze in the home's cellar.
Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham called suspect Daniel Brough "reckless," "foolish" and "greedy" for his role in the deaths, and said he should have known that the growing array posed a fire hazard.
"This is unacceptable criminal conduct," she said.
Brough, 35, faces other charges, including marijuana possession, involuntary manslaughter and causing a catastrophe.
Fire officials said the blaze apparently started in the electrical circuits set up to run the equipment used to nurture the marijuana plants, and spread more quickly because the hot lights had dried out the wood in the closet.
Authorities say the firefighters were working in the basement of the row house in the Port Richmond section of the city when they ran into trouble. Taylor triggered a distress button on his radio, but rescuers could not get to them in time.
The men appear to have died of smoke inhalation, officials said.
Taylor was a 32-year veteran of the department. He had a wife and two children. Rubio has one child, and is survived by his mother, father and nine siblings. He had been fighting fires for 12 years.
Both men had been decorated for their service to the city. They were the second and third firefighters to die this year in Philadelphia. Fire Lt. Derrick Harvey, 45, suffered fatal burns fighting a blaze in January.
Black bunting hung Saturday from the facade of the station house where the men served. The city had proposed shuttering the station earlier this year to save money, but the plan was put on hold.
Friday's fire in the city's Port Richmond section was reported at 8 p.m. and was under control within an hour. No occupants of the house were harmed.