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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
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Widow Wins Hold on|Fatal Fire Documents

(CN) - A judge on Monday put a hold on 911 tapes connected to a fatal high-rise fire in South Shore, Chicago, that killed two workers after a heroic rescue last week.

The fire at 6730 S. South Shore Drive claimed the lives of John Fasula, 50, and Jameel Johnson, 36, on Jan. 22, 2013.

Fasula and Johnson are said to have just rescued an elderly woman and returned to her burning seventh floor apartment with fire extinguishers but never re-emerged.

The men were reportedly working in the 16-story building when the fire broke out Tuesday morning.

Patricia Fasula petitioned the Cook County Circuit Court for an emergency bill of discovery two days later. The city of Chicago, the Lakefront Condominium Association and First Properties are named as respondents.

Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama with the court's chancery division granted the bill of discovery on Monday.

The order preserves 911 tapes and documents relating to the inspection and maintenance of the building, as well as photographs or video from the day of the fire. It also gives Fasula's lawyers with Corboy & Demetrio permission to inspect the building.

Lead attorney Michael Demetrio said that his team plans to "look for possible causation factors as soon as possible" with help from an electrical engineer and a fire cause and origin expert.

"The judicial authority exercised today will allow Corboy & Demetrio to fully investigate the causes of the fire that lead to the loss of an honorable man's life," Demetrio said in a statement. "John Fasula had just performed a heroic act by saving an elderly tenant's life. He stayed in the building to try to put out the fire and help other victims. It is believed he was overcome by smoke when he went back to help the other victims."

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