Fire fighters took too long to extinguish fire, suit claims

By Kelly Holleran | Nov 15, 2011

An East St. Louis resident has filed suit against the city, saying her home was destroyed by a fire that the city took too long to extinguish.

Carol Washington claims she was living at 1823 Belmont in East St. Louis when a fire broke out at her neighbor's home on Nov. 21, 2010. The city took measures to control the fire, but encountered numerous problems, according to the complaint filed Nov. 10 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

"The City of East St. Louis Fire Department was unable to control, contain or extinguish the fire because the accessible fire hydrant would not provide water and the City of East St. Louis fire trucks did not have an adequate reserve of water to control or extinguish the fire," the suit states.

Because of the fire and the city's inability to quickly extinguish it, Washington's home was destroyed and left uninhabitable, the complaint says.

She blames the city and its fire department for causing the damages to her property, saying they negligently failed to properly maintain an adequate flow to the fire hydrants, failed to properly maintain the trucks and failed to provide a necessary service of extinguishing the fire.

In her three-count complaint, Washington is seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus other relief the court deems just.

Blake G. Meinders of Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-636.

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