Man convicted of setting fire that killed 3 firefighters gets new trial



PITTSBURGH - A man convicted of setting a fire that killed three firefighters in the 1990s was granted a new trial Wednesday.

Greg Brown was serving three consecutive life terms for the deadly fire on Bricelyn Street in Homewood on Feb. 14, 1995.  Brown has been in prison since he was 17.  He’s now 34. 

Thomas Brooks, 42, Patricia Conroy, 43, and Marc Kolenda, 21, became trapped in a lower-level family room while fighting a blaze at the home. Officials said all three men died of smoke inhalation.

“Re-tracking that night when I reported that incident and crawled in the window and seeing the three bodies of my fallen firefighters laying there on that floor, it has brought back different memories," said president of the firefighters union Joe King. 

Defense lawyers and Point Park University’s Innocence Project spent years researching the case, finding that ATF agents allegedly paid a then 15-year-old witness $15,000 to testify that Brown bragged that he set the fire.

Attorney David Fawcett provided Channel 11 with copies of the ATF checks written to the alleged witness.

Fawcett claims prosecutors kept the payments hidden from the defense and the jury, violating Brown’s constitutional rights.