Sunday, November 24, 2013

Politics May Have Played Into Arson Ruling

 
D&C articles Revisit Holiday Inn Fire of 1978

"The town's dug itself a hole saying this was an arson, and they just can't dig out of it." ~~ Bud Phillips

 

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been saying that for 35 years and several times on this blog site.

SCATS said...

To 1:40PM ~~ TY for weighing in, Bud ;) We always knew you were an avid fan!

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or did his story change?

He always said he was driving home from a security gig. Now he said he did his rounds then went to the post office. Am I right here or no? I think he says it in the video.

SCATS said...

To 5:41PM ~~ He says after he relieved the person he was supposed to relieve, he did his rounds of the building and then went to the PO ...

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an ego. I don't know this guy but why doesn't he just say he did not do it. And where is his sympathy toward the families of the victims..Another strange comments is that he agrees with the findings of the other local Investigators. Watch the video from 1978 one of the Investigators says the fire started in the basement. Problem with that is that there was no basement in that bldg. Nice credibility of that local Fire Investigator. Something stinks here. I think the heat is on..

Anonymous said...

After initial investigation turns up accidental.
Chief Phelan orders a state investigation.
Now!! "Captain" Phelan heads up the extended investigation.
Coincidence??

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was ever stated that the fire started in the basement. It did say that the fire started in the area of a closet under the stairs. It was the stairs that lead from the ground floor to the second floor

Anonymous said...

To scats: FYI I am not Bud. Just someone with first hand on site knowledge of the circumstances and and actual facts that existed at that location 35 years ago. 1:40.

SCATS said...

To 5:52AM ~~ I don't think I've EVER heard him say he didn't do it, either. That is very strange!

To 7:36AM ~~ It's Greece NY where we will breed & raise family for as many generations as needed to continue any necessary cover-up ;)

To 10:17AM ~~ "Actual facts" this time instead of the usual "factual facts" ?? ... or my personal favorite: "True facts"??

Anonymous said...

Your attempt to be the authority on the English language aside, it still does not change the FACT that I happened to be in contact with the ACTUAL circumstances surrounding this incident because of my on site observations and conclusions based on the FACTS and physical information gathered at the scene. By the way, I don't remember seeing you there that night but maybe you were as I have no idea who you are .Other than the fact that you were no doubt breathing at the time .A probable FACT that is more than I can say about the present bunch of Greece Cops that are now doing the investigation. AND THAT'S A FACT JACK.!!!

Anonymous said...

To 10:17AM ~~ That the Holiday Inn Northwest was a fire trap is a well-established fact. But what does this have to do with HOW the fire started and/or WHO started it? That's the million dollar question.

To 7:36AM ~~ Fantigrossi's original determination was that the fire started due to spontaneous combustion of cleaners in the storage closet. The problem is, the chemicals kept there DO NOT react together or combust in the way he suggested. What does that say about his (laughable) conclusion, or about people who want to believe in it?

Anonymous said...

To 5:52AM ~~ I don't know BP personally either, but from what I've seen in the media he NEVER shows any sympathy for the victims or their families. Instead he complains about how inconvenient it is for him that this whole subject keeps coming up.

A quote from his interview with 10WHEC in May 2011: "In my 40 years, it was the worst part of my career. It was the worst event of our career and I really don't need it coming up every now and then."

Anonymous said...

A little known fact regarding the original questioning and the length of time that Phillips was subjected to grilling by GPD detectives, was in violation of the law. He was questioned by thee teams of detectives alternating every two hours. The law at the time stated that after a maximum of four hours, the person being questioned had a right to know two things before he said another word. They are Am I a suspect and am I under arrest?. If the answer was no, they had an obligation to release him. If yes.he must be read his Miranda Rights at which time he could wave Miranda or ask for a lawyer. If he asks for a lawyer , the cops have three option, let him leave, arrest him, hand him the phone effectively ending the interrogation .
Unfortunately for Phillips, he was not aware of his rights as a witness to an alleged crime and allowed the interrogation to continue.
However, it important to consider that at this time, the
fire was not yet determined to be an arson and murder.
Under circumstances, I think it would fair to conclude that Phillips cooperated far beyond what was considered reasonable for a person designated as a "witness" by the investigators.

SCATS said...

To 1:45PM ~~ You really need to get a grip. You're all over the map!

To 9:20AM ~~ Interesting observation & quote. VERY interesting, hmmm ...

To 10:30AM ~~ If at that time it wasn't considered to have been an arson, then there was no crime under investigation and it doesn't matter how he was questioned. He cooperated, period. His choice.

Anonymous said...

Scats. Here again you were not privy to the behind the scene happenings shortly after the fire as I and many others were.
In the mind of one person, this fire was an arson from the out set and Bud Phillips set it. That person was Chief Phelan. once he arrived at the scene and was told what was known and that Bud was the one who discovered the fire and called it in, he ordered the investigators to treat it as an arson and that Bud was to be considered the suspect. Thus the almost 12 plus hour grilling by teams of rotating detectives involved in the interrogation of Phillips who even though an official declaration of the fire as an arson had not be made, was not treated as a witness or person with knowledge, but as a suspect in an arson and multiple murder investigation. This would come a week later.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is NOBODY is looking into how Greece Ridge is handling all the 2% money they take in every year. That there is an easily provable fraud for a 1st year cop.

Oddly I recall Phelon being on camera in front of the camper trailer powered by a rented generator with the ARCO station in the background clearly stating the fire was an ARSON while firehoses were still wetting down the wreckage.

You still have to wonder how the hell 10 people died in a 2 story motel when so many ladders hung on so many fire trucks.

You also have to ask about the stairwell blocked by mattresses being stored during the remodeling, and the convenience of a declaration of ARSON taking the Town off the hook.

It only gets odd when you know which Holiday Inn employees were NOT interviewed.

Anonymous said...

Fantagrossi was a BRAND NEW fire investigator for the county during this fire.
The first thing you do is "clean the floor," all the way. He never did this. Stickevers did, and lo and behold, a pour pattern was discovered. ARSON!
Fantagrossi has had a reputation for many, many years of being a lazy investigator. The joke has always been that he declares many fires "electrical" in nature when he can't pinpoint any other cause.

Anonymous said...

How does an arson declaration "take the town off the hook?" The hotel was built to code back in the 1960's.
Phillips inspected the hotel a week or so BEFORE the fire. It's funny that the D&C article doesn't mention this, or the fact that he submitted an second "amended" report to town hall after the fire. Trying to cover his butt!
The town was sued by various families after the blaze, they were never "off the hook."

Anonymous said...

To 3:59PM ~~ You're not the first person I've seen say that there were mattresses blocking the stairwell. But IIRC, the official NFPA report on the Holiday Inn fire make no mention whatsoever of exits blocked by mattresses or renovation materials. More to the point it says that fire doors were kept open which allowed the fire to spread very quickly through the building.

(NFPA report: http://roc.democratandchronicle.com/assets/pdf/A22153121119.PDF)

I'm no lawyer, but I don't think the arson declaration is what let the Town of Greece off the hook for its failure to enforce building fire codes or for allowing the hotel to operate in those conditions. Some victims families tried to sue the town for negligence but, as I understand it, under New York law the town could not be held liable as it did not owe a specific duty to the individual hotel guests, just a general duty to the public. Whatever the hell that means.

Refer to this judgment in the complaint of Timothy Garrett, husband of fatal victim Nancy Garrett, vs the Town of Greece: "...The theory of negligence pleaded against the town was predicated on its failure to require the motel owners to comply with applicable fire and safety laws and its failure to inspect the construction of the motel adequately. Because plaintiffs had, in this regard, alleged no more than a violation of a general duty owed by the town to the public at large, the complaints against the town were held insufficient to state a cause of action and were therefore dismissed..." (http://www.leagle.com/decision/198331158NY2d253_1287).

Anonymous said...

This so called NYC expert was a bad joke. He. Was a hired gun brought in by Riley . When you pay an expert and all his expenses , it's reasonable to believe he will provide you with your monies worth which he did,
Pour pattern? Please don't make me laugh . He concluded the agent used left no foot print once burned
This whole method would be employed by the Auburger bums when they brought in another expert named Lozyinski to cover Auggies ass. That cover up cost us over 1mil to redirect the blame . Do you detect any similarities here? I do!

Anonymous said...

3:59 I know it's hard to comprehend why these people died with all the first responders at the scene.
Might I suggest. A visit to Google and type in SUPER HEATED POISON AIR. If you do, you will have your answer and in so doing learn an important thing about surviving a fire in your own home
The fact is , most of the victims had already expired long before the arrival of the first responders because of what you will learn on Google.

SCATS said...

Is it obvious to anyone but me that Bud posts here? lol

To 2:23PM ~~ You insist you don't know me ... then insist you know what I do/don't do, etc. Typical "expert."

To 6:04PM ~~ I concur.

To 10:08AM ~~ More people die from "smoke" and all the toxic fumes it contains than from the actual flames.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know exactly where Phillips was moonlighting as a security guard that night? I watched his latest D&C video interview and he seemed very cagey about the details, where and who he was with. Why all the secrecy?

And what's with his sudden statement about a late-night trip to the Post Office. Who goes to the Post Office at 2:30am? It surely wasn't open then. Wouldn't you be more likely to drop your letters into the nearest mailbox?

Lastly where would the security gig and Post Office have been in relation to the Holiday Inn?

Anonymous said...

3:59 while 11:51 is essentially broadly correct, I would still visit Google for a detailed explanation of the dangers of Lethal effects of super heated poison air on the human body by experts in this field. Smoke is not the primary cause of death in a fatal fire in fact properly dealt with, one can survive. Super heated poison air is described by some experts in the field , as the "Blanket of Death".

SCATS said...

To 5:35PM ~~ From the CDC website: "Most victims of fires die from smoke or toxic gases and not from burns (Hall 2001)."

SCATS said...

To the person/s seeking to grill me about my employment, whereabouts, conversations etc. and to those who are critical about how long I take before posting comments ~~ THIS BLOG is a VOLUNTEER effort on my part! It's a HOLIDAY PERIOD, too! As a rule, I do NOT respond to comments largely directed at my personal habits, life, associations, etc.

To the person who wrote in about SHPA. I googled it and found no reference to it.