The District of Columbia and DC Fire and EMS Department are facing two lawsuits totaling $300 Million, filed by the families of two people killed in a rowhouse fire in 2019. Fitsum Kebede, 40, and Yafet Solomen, 9, died in the fire on August 18, 2019.
The suits allege the city violated the deceaseds’ civil rights by failing to follow up on code violations and failing to properly train its inspectors. The suits also name two members of DC Fire & EMS and several other city employees.
The building at 708 Kennedy St. NW had reportedly been illegally converted into an “unlicensed rooming house.” James Walker, who was the landlord for the building that burned, has been charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and 41 criminal fire and housing code violations. He is named as a defendant in both of the civil suits.
The suits were filed in Superior Court for the District of Columbia on August 13 and 17, 2021. As of the moment, the complaints are not available, but will be posted here if the become available. More on the story.