Families of Fallen N.Y. Firefighters File Lawsuit

The families of two Buffalo firefighters who died battling a fire at a deli two years ago have filed a lawsuit against the city, the fire department and the owners of the business, according to WGRZ-TV Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy and Firefighter...


The families of two Buffalo firefighters who died battling a fire at a deli two years ago have filed a lawsuit against the city, the fire department and the owners of the business, according to WGRZ-TV

Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy and Firefighter Jonathan Croom both died after the floor of the burning building that housed the Super Speedy Deli collapsed on Aug. 24, 2009.

The 21-page civil complaint claims that the Buffalo Fire Department "failed to appropriately communicate critical information up and down the chain of command."

According to the news station, firefighters battling the blaze observed the weakened floors, but that information was never passed on to commanding officers at the scene.

The complaint also claims that the fire department violated the "two in, two out" rule. It is believed that McCarthy went into the fire alone to find the civilian crews believed was trapped in the basement.

He fell through the floor, down to the basement where he perished.

A source told the news station that he entered the building without notifying his commanders.

Croom -- after hearing the mayday call -- went inside the building before falling through the hole and also died.

According to the news station, it's unclear whether either firefighter was directed to reenter the building.

The complaint accuses the owners of the deli of violating multiple building and property codes, along with not being properly licensed.

The lawsuit names the City of Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown, the Buffalo Fire Department, the former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Michael Lombardo and the owners of the deli, Adel Abdullah and Saleh Abdullah.

The case is due back in court on Nov. 18 and a spokesman for the city said it was an ongoing legal matter.