March trial date in ground zero tower fire case

A manslaughter case surrounding the deaths of two firefighters in a condemned ground zero skyscraper is headed toward a trial this spring.

Jury selection is due to start March 21 for the Manhattan trial of three construction company figures and a firm that employed two of them. A judge set the date Friday after turning down their bids for separate trials.

Mitchel Alvo, Salvatore DePaola, Jeffrey Melofchik and the John Galt Corp. have pleaded not guilty in the August 2007 blaze at the former Deutsche (DOY'-chuh) Bank building.

Prosecutors say the men failed to fix and covered up a break in a crucial firefighting water pipe. The men say they're being scapegoated for a raft of regulatory failures at the building, which was contaminated with toxic debris in the Sept. 11 attacks.