'Failure to care, indifference' led to Delaware firefighters' deaths, court records claim

  • Source: WDEL 1150AM & WDEL.com
  • Published: 01/08/2019 12:00 AM

The city of Wilmington and its mayors' "failure to care" and "indifference" led to the deaths of three Wilmington firefighters and serious injuries to another three in a row home arson in Canby Park in 2016, according to the latest round of court documents filed in a civil lawsuit in the case, obtained by WDEL. In addition, the Plaintiffs' Consolidated Answering Brief in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, filed January 7, 2019 in federal court in Wilmington, asserted that the City of Wilmington is responsible for the "misconduct" of its agents, acting at the highest policy-making levels, and that defendants' documents, including Motions to Dismiss, include "multiple legal errors that misstate settled law." The early morning fire on September 26, 2016, killed Lt. Christopher Leach and senior firefighters Jerry Fickes and Ardythe "Ardy" Hope. Firefighter Brad Speakman was injured so badly, he retired; Senior Firefighter Terrance Tate also retired while Lt. John Cawthray, remains on the force. Attorney Tom Neuberger, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs, dismissed notions that the complaint is without merit and alleged a lack of water on the heart of the fire in the rear basement of the home led to a mayday call that would claim firefighters' lives.


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