Jurors hear radio transmissions in 'Black Sunday' trial

THE BRONX - Jurors listened to the transmissions from firefighters? Handie Talkie radios Thursday in day four of the ?Black Sunday? trial at the Bronx County Hall of Justice.

The radio transmissions provided jurors with some of the last words from firefighters Curtis Meyran, 46, and John Bellew, 37, before they jumped from the fourth floor of a building on East 178th Street that had become engulfed in flames in 2005. The calls included pleas for rope to help them escape.

The defense questioned firefighter Gotfrey Blythe, who was on the scene that morning. Blythe claims he heard Meyran?s and Bellew?s calls for rope. The defense is arguing that the lack of safety ropes was one factor that ultimately led to the deaths of Bellew and Meyran.

Firefighter Patrick McKenna, who was also on the fourth floor of the building on fire, says the apartment had no visible signs of flames, but soon exuded extreme heat. McKenna eventually discovered the source of the heat between the illegal partition in a room and another bedroom.

Rafael Castillo, Caridad Coste and Cesar Rios face counts of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment in the case for allegedly subdividing apartments in the building illegally.

Defendants in 'Black Sunday' case go on trial Tenant: 'Black Sunday' repeat possible at building

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