Family files claim against city regarding deadly fire

The city of Scottsbluff has six months to respond to the filing of a tort claim by the family of an elderly man who died in a fire earlier this year. The Star-Herald reports the family of 92 year old Sal Blanco notified the city of their intent to file a lawsuit in a letter sent late last month and formally received by the council at its Monday meeting.

Scottsbluff attorney Maren Chaloupka alleges in the letter the fire department was unreasonably delayed and not adequately equipped to handle the January 6th fire at the Fifth Avenue home, which not only destroyed it, but damaged an adjacent home. Deputy State Fire Marshall Mike Turner said hot ashes placed on a back porch were the cause of the fire.

Chaloupka asks for the maximum one million dollars allowed under tort claims filed against government subdivisions. If the city does not settle with the family and rejects the tort claim they may file suit in district court.

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