Parents won’t sue fire dept. over death
Jack Rose’s family withdraws ‘notice of claim’ vs. Centerville
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In the withdrawn notice of claim, Gary and Linda Rose, as administrators of Jack Rose’s estate, said a respirator that belonged to the Centerville Fire District and was used by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.