(CBS) — A South Side woman has nothing but the clothes on her back, and she says the Chicago Fire Department is to blame.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports from Englewood.
What was left of Janice Hooper’s home had to be bulldozed and hauled away Friday. And this 60-year-old married mother of two says it didn’t have to be this way.
“Maybe if they’d been more assertive maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” Hooper says.
She is referring to firemen who initially came to her house after she smelled something burning and called 9-1-1 late Wednesday night. Hooper says they searched the house, found no heat source and left.
Hooper says the smell was so strong she decided to sleep at her mom’s a few houses away. It was a fateful decision because in a matter of hours her home of 15 years was no more.
She lost everything in the fire, but still believes her decision to leave was the best choice.
Hooper has been forced to move back in with her mom.
The Chicago Fire Department’s Office of Fire Investigation has interviewed the firefighters that first responded, along with Hooper. They’re also testing the thermal-imaging camera that they say was used during the initial investigation.
It apparently showed no heat signature when firefighters initially checked out the house late Wednesday night.