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CHICAGO (CBS) – The children of one of two firefighters killed last year when the roof of an abandoned building collapsed last year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the building’s owners.
WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports that Jennifer Stringer and Edward Stringer Jr. also called on city officials and state lawmakers to enact tougher penalties for owners of dangerous buildings.
Their father, Edward Stringer, 47, was a 12-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. He and fellow firefighter Corey Ankum, 34, were killed last December when the roof of an abandoned Laundromat collapsed during an extra-alarm blaze. Nineteen other firefighters were injured in the collapse.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner Reports
The building had been cited 14 times for building code violations. Stringer’s children have filed a lawsuit against the building owners – Chuck M. Dai and Richard Dai – for negligence and wrongful death.
The suit claims the owners failed to properly maintain the building, leading to the fatal roof collapse.
“Neither my father or his comrade would have died that day if this building had been properly secured or, better yet, torn down,” Jennifer Stringer, 23, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Her attorney, Peter Flowers, said the Stringer family also wants tougher penalties for owners of dangerous abandoned buildings.
“What they are calling (for) today is that stronger penalties be put in place to deal with these land owners who are cited over and over and over again,” Flowers said.
Jennifer Stringer said she doesn’t want other firefighting families to go through what her family went through.