2 suspected in Bronx house explosion that killed firefighter back in court

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Wake begin today for fire chief killed in house explosion
Diana Rocco reporting live

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Two men charged with operating a grow house in the Bronx home that exploded in September, killing an FDNY deputy chief, are expected to return to court Wednesday.

Julio Salcedo-Contrer, who rented the apartment that exploded, is also accused of using it as a marijuana grow house. Garivaldi Castillo is charged with criminal possession of marijuana for his alleged role in the operation.

The home on West 234th Street blew up as firefighters were investigating a gas leak on Sept. 27, killing beloved Bronx Deputy Chief Michael Fahy.

Police said the home was a marijuana drug lab, and that a tampered gas main caused the explosion. A deviation was found in the basement of the home, and the gas pipe leading into the home that exploded was sent to a lab to be tested.

Police said the building on 234th Street was teeming with pot plants and was a so-called marijuana hot house. Only a few months ago, the DEA warned of the dangers of grow houses which use "explosive materials such as propane and butane...that pose clear hazards to first responders."

Police said they'd already been investigating Castillo and Salcedo-Contrer, who allegedly ran from the home after the blast.

"We are devoted to getting everyone who was in involved and I'm very certain we will, a lot of effort bringing them to justice," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

PHOTOS: Explosion in the Bronx

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