Murder Charges Reinstated In Philadelphia Firefighter Deaths

A judge reinstated murder charges Monday against a man for allegedly setting up a basement marijuana-growing operation that overheated and started a blaze that killed two firefighters.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A judge reinstated murder charges Monday against a man for allegedly setting up a basement marijuana-growing operation that overheated and started a blaze that killed two firefighters.

Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner ordered Daniel Brough, 36, to stand trial on charges of third-degree murder in the deaths of the firefighters who were asphyxiated after they became trapped in the burning house in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood. Brough is free on $150,000 bail.

Lerner, overturning a lower court decision, ruled that the case should proceed so a jury may decide whether Brough knowingly and recklessly created a situation that sparked the blaze. The marijuana hothouse included a hot light in a cluttered basement far from the only exit, prosecutors said.

Capt. John Taylor, 53, and firefighter Rey Rubio, 42, died in the Aug. 20 fire.

Assistant Fire Marshal Arthur Czajkowski testified Monday that the heat created by a large, 940-watt commercial bulb installed in a narrow and sealed wooden space ``is basically like a bomb looking for detonation.''

Lerner also reinstated a drug charge against Brough.

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