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Fremont Mother Who Lost Children In Fire Files Claim Against Seattle Housing Authority

By Sean Keeley · July 22nd, 2011 · 5 Comments

It’s been more than a year since the deadly fire in Fremont that claimed the lives of five people. Of the five people who died at 41st. NW and NW Leary St, four of them were children. According to investigators, the fire was caused by a foam mattress in a downstairs closet that was leaning against a light bulb and was ruled accidental.

Earlier this month, lawyers for Helen Gebregiorgis, the mother of the four children, filed a claim for damages, stating she “suffered severe psychological trauma caused by her presence at the fire scene and the loss of her children and relatives.”

According to the claim, “Seattle Housing Authority owned the premises and had installed lighting in the closet that was a ceiling fixture from which a bare light bulb was suspended. The on/off switch for the light was inside the closet. The fixture did not include any type of protective cover over the light bulb. The mattress came in contact with the light bulb and ignited.”

Kathy Goater, Helen Gebregiorgis’ lawyer, wrote in the filing dated July 7 that they are seeking no less than $10 million in damages.

The Housing Authority is also named in a claim from Abdelrahman Shamam, father of two of the children. He is seeking $4 million in damages.

The Housing Authority is unable to comment at this time.




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