Alex Constantine - October 6, 2007
Also see: "The Burnt-Out Deutsche Bank Building & the Gambino Family/Senior FDNY Chiefs Spent Weeks at Toxic Tower Before Fire"
And: "Contractor Sidesteps Questions On Deutsche Bank Fire"
Contractors demolishing the former Deutsche Bank building made a special plan to allow emergency use of the sealed stairs, but firefighters who responded to the deadly fire that ripped through the building on Aug. 18 did not know of the plan, Al Baker reveals in a front-page article.
The stairwells were sealed with heavy plywood and plastic to prevent toxic materials from escaping and hinged trap doors were put in the plywood slabs, yet the escape plan was never brought to the attention of firefighters assigned to respond to a fire in the building. As a result, scores of firefighters were forced to scramble down exterior scaffolding or seek other escape routes. The two firefighters who were killed, Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino, were found near a sealed stairwell on the 14th floor, one of them actually atop the plywood slab.