Even though the Fire Department had been under scrutiny over the kind of ropes firefighters were supplied after the two on-the-job deaths and other injuries during a 2005 call in the Bronx (like the fact that the FDNY didn't supply escape ropes, leaving fire hydrants frozen and unusable or enough training), it seems that the Bronx DA feels that the people whose apartments were on fire are at fault. The tenants who lived at 236 East 178th Street was indicted for the deaths, along with the building's owner. Tenants Rafael Castillo and Caridad Coste had illegally subdivided their three-bedroom apartments into five bedrooms, and Castillo's third floor apartment also had an overloaded electrical outlet and plasterboard partitions that apparently blocked the firefighters' exits. Castillo, a livery cabdriver, had rented out the rooms; his lawyer said Castillo shouldn't be at fault, claiming that the fire did not start in his apartment and because the firefighters didn't jump from his apartment - plus the fact that the firefighters were underprepared.
The January 23, 2005 has been called the "Black Sunday", as firefighters Curtis Meyran and John Bellew died in the Bronx fire; another firefighter died on a call in Brooklyn. And last December, there was a Queens house fire in an illegally subdivided basement that claimed the lives of three people