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

This fire December 2010 claimed lives two Chicago firefighters. Thursday owner abandoned commercial laundry was sentenced six months prisfor ignoring

This fire in December 2010 claimed the lives of two Chicago firefighters. Thursday, the owner of the abandoned commercial laundry was sentenced to six months in prison for ignoring a court order to repair the roof. | Brian Jackson/ Sun-Times

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Updated: June 17, 2014 2:28PM

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.

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 — 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 firefighters, including Ankum and Stringer, went to the roof to vent the structure, the roof collapsed.

Fourteen other firefighters were injured.


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