According to the New York Post, the Arch Insurance Company claims some volunteer firefighters in Westchester County were “reckless, negligent and careless” in working on a fire department vehicle and parking it inside the firehouse. A federal lawsuit filed by the insurer says that a 1998 Chevy Suburban caught fire and heavily damaged the Goldens Bridge Fire Department firehouse. In addition, the lawsuit says the firefighters had propped open a self-closing fire door and left it open, allowing the fire to spread.
Arch Insurance is apparently trying to recoup more than a million dollars it paid on the claim after the firehouse burned in February of 2014.
“Had defendant executed due and proper care in the use, maintenance, operation and control of its vehicles, equipment and the fire station bays, the accident complained of would not have occurred,” Arch alleges.
“My understanding is that they are trying to recover the money they already paid out through a subrogation claim,” said Goldens Bridge Fire Chief Ed Brancati.
He doubted the suit would bear fruit.
“It’s a volunteer fire department that has an insurance policy with a dollar limit,” he said. “I’m not going to say what it is, but you can’t get blood from a stone.”