NEW YORK - Two rabbis, a father, and a son faced a judge in Rockland County on Thursday after being charged in connection to a deadly fire in March at an assisted living home in Spring Valley that killed a volunteer firefighter and one person who lived at the facility.
Prosecutors say Rabbi Nathaniel Sommer and his son Aaron used a blowtorch to cleanse the ovens for Passover at the Evergreen Court Home for Adults last March. It was the use of those blowtorches that prosecutors say led to a massive blaze that burned the home to the ground.
Jared Lloyd, a veteran volunteer firefighter, and father of two young sons, was one of the first men on the scene. While attempting to rescue the 112 residents inside that adult home, Lloyd perished after he got trapped on the third floor.
A 79-year-old resident, Oliver Hurston, was also killed.
Both Nathaniel and Aaron Sommer pleaded not guilty, denying that they committed any crime or acted maliciously.
The pair have been charged with multiple counts of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, arson, and three assault charges. Both posted $200,000 bail each.