Aquittal For Men Accused In Deaths Of Two Firefighters

Two New York City tenants have been acquitted of charges they created a deadly maze of illegal walls in an apartment building that forced two firefighters responding to a blaze to jump to their deaths.

Caridad Coste and Rafael Castillo were tried on manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and other charges that could have resulted in up to 15 years in prison.

They were accused of illegally subdividing their apartments to make bedrooms for renters, creating a lethal maze when fire broke out. Six firefighters were trapped during a fire Jan. 23, 2005 and jumped from a fourth-floor window. Two died.

The firefighters' widows bowed their heads and wept as the verdicts were read.


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