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Second Suspect Arrested in Blast That Killed FDNY Chief, Sources Say

By Murray Weiss | September 28, 2016 6:47pm

THE BRONX — A second suspect has been arrested in connection to the illegal marijuana grow house that exploded and killed an FDNY chief, sources told DNAinfo New York.

Garivaldi Castillo, 32, of Washington Heights, is said to be a “controlling agent” of the second floor hydroponic pot farm inside 304 W. 234th St. that blew up early Tuesday morning, killing Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, who was a father of three and a rising star in the fire department. 

Castillo was spotted going in and out of the building by undercover police who were probing allegations of a marijuana growing factory there days before it exploded, sources said.

He was being held on marijuana possession charges tied to the pot farm, sources said.

Julio Salcedo, 34, was arrested hours after the blast on an unrelated warrant for failing to show up in traffic court on a November 2014 arrest for driving without a license.

Salcedo was seen fleeing the grow house when firefighters, police officers and Con Edison initially responded to a report of a heavy gas odor about an hour before the explosion.

Salcedo is described as a low-level player in the operation, who apparently was paying the monthly rent in cash.

► READ MORE: Suspect in Deadly Bronx Marijuana House Blast is 'No El Chapo,' Sources Say

But Castillo is believed to be a pivotal figure who literally had the keys to the various locks to the plastic-lined second-floor pot house, where police also discovered several 55 gallon fertilizer containers.

Authorities believe the gas leak stemmed from an illegal hookup inside the building to avoid running up large Con Edison bills that would attract attention from the owner or the utility.