Authorities have arrested four men, including two village building inspectors, in the fatal fire at Evergreen Court Home for Adults in which volunteer Firefighter Jared Lloyd died in the Line of Duty and a facility resident died. The two other suspects are facing misdemeanor charges.
Aaron Sommer and his son, Nathaniel Sommer, both of Rockland, were charged with the same crimes, including two counts of manslaughter in the second degree, for their alleged actions that have been determined to cause the fire. Sommers, a Rabbi and his son, were not employees of Evergreen. They were independent contractors hired to do the kosherizing for Passover.
In addition to manslaughter, the Sommers are charged with two counts of assault in the second degree, and arson in the fourth degree, felonies. They were also charged with two misdemeanors each, two counts of third-degree assault and two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment.
Spring Valley village building inspectors Wayne Ballard and Raymond Canario are both charged with first-degree offering false instrument and falsifying business records for allegedly falsely filing reports to New York State regarding fire inspections.
Ballard and Canario are accused of filing false reports to the state regarding fire inspections. Their charges included a felony, offering a false instrument for filing, and a misdemeanor, second-degree falsifying business records. They were processed and released, to appear in Spring Valley Justice Court in July. Ballard is the former Clarkstown public works chief hired by Spring Valley Mayor Alan Simon and a board majority to the $172,000 position of running the village building department and department of public works.
The two other suspects are facing misdemeanor charges and were given citations instead of being arrested. Center director Denise Kerr is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, and Manuel Lema is charged with criminal impersonation and obstructing government administration, for their alleged actions from within the facility prior to the start of the fire.
The 35-year-old Firefighter Lloyd, a father to two young boys, had served the Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years. His day job was with the cable company Altice.
Lloyd rushed into the burning building to rescue residents, and became disoriented and could not find his way out.
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