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Rockland Families Of NYC Firefighters Share $183 Million Award

New York City Firefighter John Bellew of Pearl River was killed in a 2005 fire in the Bronx.
New York City Firefighter John Bellew of Pearl River was killed in a 2005 fire in the Bronx. Photo Credit: FDNY

ORANGETOWN, N.Y. – The families of two Rockland County men – one a firefighter who was killed, and the other injured, during the 2005 “Black Sunday” tragedy – will receive part of a $183 million settlement, according to a report by lohud.com.

New York City Firefighter John Bellew of Pearl River was married with four kids when he died in the tenement fire in the Bronx, and Firefighter Jeff Cool, a Pomona resident who lived in Garnerville at the time, sustained serious injuries, according to lohud.

Lt. Curtis Mehran died at the scene while Gene Stolowski, of Florida, N.Y., in Orange County, and Brendan Cawley, were injured.  A sixth firefighter, Joseph DiBernardo Jr., of Long Island, died years later of his injuries, according to multiple media reports.

Lohud reported that a jury on Monday, Feb. 22, found that the city was negligent for not provided the firefighters with safety ropes which might have saved them.

The landlord of the building that burned was also found liable, the lohud article said.

To read the lohud article, click here.

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