Surviving firefighter testifies in 'Black Sunday' trial

Jury in the ?Black Sunday? trial surrounding a deadly fire in the Bronx heard the testimony of a firefighter who survived the jump from the burning building in 2005. Jeffrey Cool described the conditions

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2014, 9:45 PM

Updated 3,649 days ago

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Surviving firefighter testifies in 'Black Sunday' trial
Jury in the ?Black Sunday? trial surrounding a deadly fire in the Bronx heard the testimony of a firefighter who survived the jump from the burning building in 2005.
Jeffrey Cool described the conditions that day as ?hell.? He said the smoke was so thick on the fourth-floor of the building, he could not see who was near him. Moments later, Cool said he and other firefighters were trapped. They climbed on top of an air conditioner and debated whether or not to jump.
Cool and four other firefighters took the plunge 40 feet to the ground below. The fall killed Lt. Curtis Meyran and John Bellew.
Cool and firefighter Joe DiBernardo were the last ones to jump. Cool threw his personal safety rope to his co-worker, which DiBernardo wrapped around his hand and lowered Cool a few feet to the ground.
The defense made the case that had the other firefighters been equipped with the ropes, which were banned by the FDNY shortly before the incident, they would have survived.
Cool is suing the city for banning the use of personal safety ropes. He says he is a living example of why they are so important.
Cool?s cross examination will continue Wednesday.
Cesar Rios, the building's landlord, Rafael Castillo and Caridad Coste are charged with manslaughter for allegedly contributing to the deaths of Meyran and Bellew by building illegal partitions in the building.
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