Building Owner Sues Illinois Fire Department

An Illinois fire department is being sued by a property owner over a 2017 fire that destroyed a shed containing numerous vehicles. William Dickerson II filed is December against the Village of Valmeyer.

Dickerson’s suit claimed that the village fire department was negligent for not ensuring that fire apparatus and hydrants were in working order when the fire broke out. The fire hydrant near the building lacked water pressure, requiring water to be trucked in from a nearby lake.

The Republic-Times quoted Valmeyer Fire Chief Floyd Floarke as saying:

  • We had some water issues at the very start, but in the end it wouldn’t have made a difference.
  • It was a defensive operation from the start.
  • We were just trying to save the house.

The village has already filed a motion to dismiss based upon immunity. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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