MANHATTAN - A judge ruled today not to dismiss criminal charges against three construction company employees accused in the 2007 Deutsche Bank building fire that resulted in the deaths of two firefighters.

Mitchel Alvo, Salvatore DePaola and Jeffrey Melofchik are facing manslaughter and other charges.

The three men say they were unfairly blamed for the fire that was caused by other failures. Prosecutors, however, say the suspects knew about and covered up a break in a crucial firefighting water pipe, and it was a critical factor in the deaths of Joseph Graffagnino, of Dyker Heights, and Robert Beddia.