Widow Talks Lawsuit in NY State FF Fatality

Anthony Adornato
WSTM News- Central, NY

Donna Lynch filed a Notice of Claim Wednesday, which means that a lawsuit may be forthcoming. It specifically points the finger at County Fire Coordinator, Mike Waters.

For Donna and little Phillip Lynch, the loss of "T.J." has cost them...a huge emotional burden. Donna, now a widow, Phillip, now fatherless.

What happened that March 2002 night inside the burning house in Pompey has put Onondaga County Fire Coordinator, Mike Waters under the microscope.

Waters, along with the County are named as defendants in this Notice of Claim. The first step in a possible wrongful death suit.

It accuses Waters and the County of carelessness, recklessness, negligence, all leading to Lynch's death.

Lynch, along with colleague John "Gino" Ginochetti were sent into the burning house, the floor collapsed and they both became trapped.

This is a list of charges claimed against the defendants:

- failed to properly coordinate, dispatch and control firefighting personnel at the scene.
- directed the victim in the building without proper support to ensure his safety.
- directed Lynch to enter, when it was clear all occupants had safely evacuated the building.
- failed to timely rescue or properly treat Lynch for injuries suffered once he became trapped in the burning building.

Now Donna is demanding financial compensation from the County, for both the emotional and financial toll.

Her attorney hopes this can be settled without a lawsuit, out of court. A State Labor Dept report also points blame at Waters.

We tried contacting Mike Waters. His secretary told us he's out of town.

We also called county executive Nick Pirro...he wouldn't comment.