More Insight on What Led to Deaths of Two Buffalo Firefighters

November 23, 2010 Updated Nov 23, 2010 at 7:54 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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November 23, 2010 Updated Nov 23, 2010 at 7:54 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY(WKBW) -- The families of the fallen firefighters are filing lawsuits. Legal documents are providing more details about the conditions of the building and pointing fingers at the building's owners, the city, and the fire department for not preventing this deadly blaze.
Based on information she's learned and based on her attorney's investigation, Johnathan Croom's mother, Angie Heusinger, believes the owners of the Super Speedy Deli on Genesee Street had illegal wiring that caused that deadly blaze August of 2009. "I was very upset, obviously. I was very distressed to find out that whole fire could have been avoided."
She also believes that the city violated safety procedures battling the blaze.
Thomas Burton is the lawyer for Lt. Charles "Chip" McCarthy's widow, Theresa. She is suing the deli owners, the city of Buffalo, the mayor, and former commissioner Mike Lombardo.
Burton claims if the deli owners Adel Abdullah and Saleh Abdullah followed certain codes, like adding drywall to the ceiling of the basement, the floor beneath Lt. McCarthy and firefighter Croom would not have collapsed beneath them.
Burton also alleges that the Buffalo Fire Department failed to communicate critical information up and down the chain of command, and had inadequate personnel accountability. "The key to the case is not what caused the fire, but what happened once fire started."
A jury will decide who ultimately is responsible for the deaths of firefighter Croom and Lt. McCarthy. Calls to Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Whitfield were not returned today.