• Welding company owner denies responsibility in fatal Back Bay fire


    By Kevin Rothstein and Mike Beaudet

    FOX UNDERCOVER (MyFoxBoston.com) – The owner of a welding company being sued in connection with the Beacon Street fire that claimed the lives of two Boston firefighters said in court papers that he wasn’t responsible for the welding work that authorities say sparked the fatal blaze.

    Giuseppe Falcone, owner of D&J Iron Works, requested that the lawsuit filed against him by the owner of the building destroyed in the March fire be dismissed because he says he's not to blame and the welding company no longer exists: it was disbanded in 2010, according to a filing with Secretary of State.

    Oliver Realty Limited Partnership, the group that owns 296 Beacon St., where the welding work was being performed, also responded to the lawsuit on Wednesday. The response denied the lawsuit’s allegations and stated that they are not “liable for any acts or omissions of any independent contractor who was performing services at the rear of 296 Beacon St.” the day the fire took place.

    Investigators have already said the fire was caused by welders installing an iron hand rail next door to 298 Beacon St., who were working without a permit.

    Last month FOX Undercover reported police investigating the fire executed a search warrant at D&J Ironworks in Malden. Soon after, the owner of 298 Beacon St., the building where Boston fire Lieutenant Ed Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy died, sued Falcone and his company along with the owner of the building where the welding work was being done.

    But Falcone denied that either he or D&J J Iron Works were doing welding work behind 296 Beacon St. saying "the plaintiff's alleged damages were caused by others for whose conduct the defendant is not responsible."

    FOX Undercover’s camera captured the sign outside the Malden address for D&J Iron Works, but that sign was taken down last month. Falcone's car was also spotted outside the building.

    FOX Undercover also obtained surveillance video from a building near the fire which shows what appears to be a truck with welding equipment in the area minutes after a 911 call was made reporting the fire. The truck remained in the spot for more than five minutes, and then pulled away. Thirty seconds later, a firefighter can be seen running toward 298 Beacon St.

    The investigation into the Beacon Street fire is ongoing, with officials from Boston police and fire departments and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office still meeting to determine if anyone will face criminal charges.

    Neither the owner of the building that burned nor the owner of the building being sued would comment on the filing by Falcone.

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