NY firefighter sues homeowner for injuries sustained while battling blaze

FDNY firefighter John DiCarlo fell from a ladder while fighting a fire in a vacant home, and says he was injured due to due to the owner’s “carelessness, negligence and recklessness”


Frank Donnelly
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Fighting fires is a dangerous job.

And a city firefighter, allegedly injured early on New Year’s Day when he fell from a ladder while battling a blaze in a vacant Tompkinsville home, maintains the building’s “unsealed” and “unguarded” condition made his job even more hazardous.

John DiCarlo has sued 79 Monroe LLC, identified in court papers as the owner of 79 Monroe Ave., alleging he was injured due to the owner’s “carelessness, negligence and recklessness.”

DiCarlo was among the firefighters who responded to the raging two-alarm blaze at about 6:08 a.m., according to a civil complaint and Advance reports.

Heavy flames had spread throughout the two-story dwelling, a Fire Department spokesman told the Advance then.

The blaze was finally brought under control just over two hours later at 8:18 a.m., the spokesman said.

The fire was incendiary in nature, alleges the complaint.

The building, across the street from PS 16, has since been razed.

Two unidentified firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the fire, the Advance reported, citing an FDNY spokesman.

The complaint does not say how DiCarlo fell from the ladder, where the ladder was located and who owned it.

The firefighter’s injuries are not specified, although they are alleged to be serious.

The complaint alleges the building was “vacant,” “unsealed” and “unguarded.”

The owner violated various ordinances, including the city Administrative Code regarding required building maintenance and the sealing off of dangerous structures, the complaint maintains.

The owner also flouted city and state fire odes with respect to building safety, safeguarding vacant premises and prohibiting the accumulation of combustible waste materials, contends the complaint.

Filed in state Supreme Court, St. George, the suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Court papers don’t state DiCarlo’s age or place of residence.

Lawyers for DiCarlo and 79 Monroe LLC did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment on the suit.

DiCarlo is the second first responder to sue a homeowner in the past two months for injuries allegedly suffered on their premises.

In late January, Police Officer Gareth Echevarria sued the owners of a New Springville home, alleging he was hurt when an emotionally disturbed person pushed him down their stairs last summer.

Echevarria contends the homeowners were negligent for failing to supervise and control the alleged emotionally disturbed person and for not warning Echevarria and his fellow officers of that individual’s “dangerous propensities.”

The case is pending in state Supreme Court, St. George.

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©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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