Delaware Jury to Decide If Mayor, Fire Chief Liable for Fatal Fire

August 30, 2019

A federal lawsuit over an arson fire that killed three firefighters can proceed against the city of Wilmington and its former mayor and fire chief.

The Delaware News Journal reports Judge Mary Pat Thynge dismissed some claims, but recommended that a jury decide whether former Mayor Dennis Williams and former Fire Chief Anthony Goode should be held accountable for the deaths because of a city cost-saving measure that put the nearest fire engine out of service.

The firefighters’ families say the officials demonstrated “deliberate indifference” by imposing the risky policy.

Because the 2016 row house fire was intentionally set, the judge said it’s difficult to prove any official directly caused the deaths, despite knowing there was a “fairly direct” danger.

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