The news of another Chicago firefighter's death is hitting one local woman especially hard.
Jennifer Stringer's father Edward was one of two firefighters killed when the roof collapsed at an abandoned building in 2010 soon after they put out a fire.
“I can't even put in to words sometimes what the emotions I'm feeling about all this,” Jennifer Stringer said. “Sad, angry. But at the end of the day it's just devastating.”
Her father, a 12-year veteran she called her “best friend,” had been searching for people inside the building located on the South Side. She said the structure’s disrepair caused the roof collapse, not the fire. She has filed a wrongful death lawsuit which states that the building had 11 code violations before the fire.
“These abandoned buildings are like the landmines of Chicago and they cause a threat to everybody,” she said.
Stringer and her lawyer want the city to step up enforcement of abandoned buildings.
“We could have all the inspectors in the world but the ramifications need to increase and that's a change to the law,” lawyer Pete Flowers said.
This week's tragedy happened at a building that was not vacant. The city has said the building owner did not obtain proper permits for work being performed.
Stringer says more people must be held accountable if their buildings are in bad shape.
“If there could be criminal prosecution, I bet you ten times out of ten someone will take more responsibility for the property that they own,” Stringer said.
Chicago's department of buildings said it takes the issue of abandoned buildings very seriously. They added that all buildings must be registered and they do get inspected.