Par­ents won’t sue fire dept. over death

Jack Rose’s fam­ily with­draws ‘no­tice of claim’ vs. Cen­ter­ville

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Pineiro-Zucker dpzucker@free­manon­ DianeAtFree­man on Twit­ter

The par­ents of fallen Mount Mar­ion Fire De­part­ment Capt. Jack Rose have de­cided against su­ing the Cen­ter­ville Fire Dis­trict and the vil­lage of Saugerties, the fam­ily’s lawyer said Wed­nes­day.

Gary and Linda Rose of Saugerties “don’t feel com­fort­able su­ing the fire de­part­ments their son loved so much . ... They don’t feel it’s nec­es­sary to make a claim,” their lawyer, Joe O’Con­nor, said. He said the fam­ily’s Septem­ber fil­ing, known as a “no­tice of claim,” was in­tended to “pro­tect any po­ten­tial claims” but that those claims will not be filed.

Cen­ter­ville Fire Chief James Mullen on Wed­nes­day called the fam­ily’s de­ci­sion “good news for the [vol­un­teer] fire­men that are do­ing

this for free.”

In the with­drawn no­tice of claim, Gary and Linda Rose, as ad­min­is­tra­tors of Jack Rose’s es­tate, said a res­pi­ra­tor that be­longed to the Cen­ter­ville Fire Dis­trict and was used by Rose on the day of his death “had not been in­spected on a monthly ba­sis and may have been de­fec­tive or un­fit for use” and that both the Cen­ter­ville and vil­lage of Saugerties fire de­part­ments vi­o­lated state la­bor law.

The no­tice of claim, filed July 15, did not cite the Saugerties Fire De­part­ment — only the vil­lage — or the Mount Mar­ion Fire De­part­ment, of which Rose was a mem­ber. And O’Con­nor

said Wed­nes­day that no ac­tions against the de­part­ments are planned.

Rose, 19, died Dec. 19, 2015, af­ter go­ing into dis­tress while help­ing fight a chim­ney fire in a home at 11 Fel Qui Road in the Cen­ter­ville Fire Dis­trict in the town Saugerties. In­ves­ti­ga­tors con­cluded the fire was ac­ci­den­tal, be­gan in the struc­ture’s south wall and in­volved a heat­ing sys­tem and wood stove on that wall. The fire was ruled ac­ci­den­tal.

In Septem­ber, Gary and Linda Rose filed a law­suit al­leg­ing neg­li­gence by Mary Alice Mark, the owner of the home where their son suc­cumbed.

That le­gal ac­tion re­mains ac­tive.

“The wood stove was neg­li­gently at­tached to a chim­ney that shouldn’t have

been uti­lized,” O’Con­nor said pre­vi­ously.

The at­tor­ney said the suit against Mark was filed be­cause of “ac­tual statu­tory vi­o­la­tions” of fire codes at her home.

Mark could not be reached for com­ment Wed­nes­day. In Septem­ber, O’Con­nor said her homeowner’s in­surance com­pany was aware of the law­suit.

O’Con­nor said the suit against Mark, filed May 19 in state Supreme Court in Kingston, seeks to re­cover dam­ages caused by “pain and suf­fer­ing.” The ac­tion does not seek a spe­cific dol­lar amount.

A state De­part­ment of La­bor in­ves­ti­ga­tion found Rose be­came sep­a­rated from other fire­fight­ers in the base­ment of Mark’s home while fight­ing the

fire. He was con­scious when he was found but was pro­nounced dead soon af­ter at HealthAl­liance Hospi­tal’s Broad­way Cam­pus in Kingston.

The cause of Rose’s death was as­phyxia af­ter in­hal­ing su­per­heated gasses, ac­cord­ing to a med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s re­port.

Two re­ports about the fire is­sued in Au­gust by the state De­part­ment of La­bor’s Pub­lic Em­ployee Safety and Health Bureau cited the Mount Mar­ion and Cen­ter­ville fire de­part­ments for nu­mer­ous vi­o­la­tions of fed­eral Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion codes. The vil­lage of Saugerties Fire De­part­ment was not cited.

Chief David Ay­ers of the Mount Mar­ion Fire De­part­ment de­clined to com­ment Wed­nes­day.


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