The daughter and son of a Chicago firefighter have filed suit against the owners of an abandoned South Shore laundromat, alleging that their failure to properly maintain the building resulted in their father’s death last year. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Jennifer Stringer and Edward Stringer, Jr. against the owners of Sing Way Cleaners. Their father, Edward Stringer, Sr., was among the firefighters dispatched to a fire at the abandoned building in December of last year. As some of the firefighters went inside to put the fire out, others cut holes in the roof to ventilate the building. The roof suddenly collapsed, killing Stringer and another firefighter, and injuring 19 others.
Jennifer Stringer contends her father’s death could have been prevented if the building had been up to code. The children say they want their lawsuit to result in tougher legislation being passed, as well as stronger enforcement of building codes in order to promote firefighter safety. I believe that firefighters should be protected from the dangers of abandoned and neglected buildings and that owners should be held accountable. Records in this case indicate the city had cited the owners for 14 separate violations, but the building was never repaired. Homeless people often sought shelter there. It appears that a definite safety risk was created and that it was allowed to continue to exist.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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