Published: Oct 22, 2010 3:48 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 22, 2010 12:48 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - Three construction company employees have lost their bid to get a judge to dismiss a manslaughter case in a blaze that killed two firefighters at a contaminated ground zero tower.

Friday's ruling means Mitchel Alvo, Salvatore DePaola and Jeffrey Melofchik are headed toward a trial in the August 2007 fire at the former Deutsche (DOY'-cha) Bank building. They have pleaded not guilty.

The men say they were unfairly blamed for a fire fueled by others' failures. But prosecutors say the men knew about and covered up a break in a crucial firefighting water pipe, and that was a critical factor in the firefighters' deaths.

The tower was heavily damaged and filled with toxic debris during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.