MALDEN (CBS) – A Malden iron company is facing $58,000 in fines for failing to follow safety precautions and causing a Back Bay fire in March that killed two Boston firefighters.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Friday morning that Guiseppe Falcone and Daniele Falcone, who run D&J Ironworks out of Malden, were cited for 10 serious violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Fire investigators determined that the March 26 nine-alarm fire was caused when workers from the company were installing railings with arc welding equipment, despite high wind conditions. The investigation showed that sparks from the welding work ignited clapboards on a nearby shed at 298 Beacon Street, OSHA said.
“OSHA found that the company lacked an effective fire prevention and protection program, failed to train its employees in fire safety, did not have a fire watch present and did not move the railing to another location where the welding could be performed safely,” said Brenda Gordon, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts, in a Friday announcement.
“This company’s failure to implement these required, common-sense safeguards put its own employees at risk and resulted in a needless, tragic fire.”
A violation is considered serious when there is “substantial probability” that death or serious injury could result from a hazard, OSHA said.
The business owners have 15 business days after they received their citations to contest the findings.
Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy were killed when they became trapped in the basement during the fire inside the Beacon Street brownstone.
Kennedy’s mother, Kathy Crosby-Bell, released a statement on Friday following the announcement by OSHA.
“This morning I learned the outcome of OSHA’s investigation that caused the tragic fire on March 26 and loss of my son, Firefighter Michael Kennedy,” she said.
“This is only one piece of the ongoing investigation and I look forward to the results of the complete investigation from the District Attorney’s office. Ultimately, I hope this reminds all Bostonians of the critical need to ensure the safety of our firefighters who put their lives on the line for each one of us every day.”
Boston fire officials said Friday they will not be commenting on OSHA’s acti0ns as the investigation continues.
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