Building owner gets 6 months in prison; blaze killed 2 firefight - FOX 32 News Chicago

Building owner gets 6 months in prison; blaze killed 2 firefighters

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Chuck Dai, 65 Chuck Dai, 65
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The owner of an abandoned South Side commercial laundry building where two Chicago firefighters died in a December 2010 fire and roof collapse was sentenced to six months in prison Thursday for ignoring a court order to secure the building and repair its roof.

Chuck Dai, 65, was also ordered to pay $5,229 in fines after he pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of court before Cook County Judge James Obbish, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Firefighters Corey Ankum, 34, and Edward Stringer, 47, were killed in the Dec. 22, 2010 blaze in the 1700 block of East 75th.

Dai, of South Holland, is accused of failing to correct 14 building code violations dating to 2007.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Lacy said Dai agreed to make the changes in 2009 and that neither the city nor any other agency produced a follow-up report showing what, if any, actions Dai took.

The city razed the remaining debris from the structure — destroying any potential evidence that remained following the fire, prosecutors said.

The 2010 fire began near the rear door and quickly spread to the entire structure, authorities said.

When the firefighters, including Ankum and Stringer, went up to the roof to vent the building, the roof collapsed.

Fourteen other firefighters were injured in the incident.

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