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FDNY widows seethe over Queens lawsuit

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

The widows of three New York City firefighters killed in last year’s Father’s Day Fire in Astoria, Queens, are furious over a lawsuit being taken by the father of one of the teens responsible for the blaze.

“I’m not happy at all with this lawsuit. It’s completely inappropriate,” said Anne Downing, whose husband, John Downing, was one of the three Irish-American firefighters who died when an explosion at the Long Island General Supply Company hardware store caused a wall to collapse.

“I’m just devastated to think that this guy is suing. God help us but if they hadn’t been doing that,” Mrs. Downing, who is from Kilkeel, Co. Down, said in reference to the teenage boy, who, along with a friend, ignited the fire by kicking over a can of gasoline.

Silverio Moreno, the father of one of the boys, is suing the store owner for $2 million because he himself claims he was hurt by a falling wall. Moreno lives next door to the site of the store.

The June 17 blaze took the lives of firefighters John Downing, Harry Ford and Brian Fahey.

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“I don’t even want to think of this it makes me so angry,” Mary Fahey told the Echo.

“It makes you think he [Moreno] wasn’t sorry. He should be just happy that his son wasn’t hurt,” Fahey said.

She added that she was in constant touch with Anne Downing and Denise Ford since the Father’s Day fire left their combined eight children without fathers.

“We are trying to be there for each other,” she said.

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