Chicago Building Owner Charged in Fatal Fire

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apartment fireChicago, IL -- Chicago building owner Adolfo Lopez is being charged with criminal contempt after he failed to address building and fire code violations, leading to the death of a tenant in an illegal attic apartment.

The Logan Square two-flat was converted to the 9-rental unit building.  However, the attic and basement units did not meet code.  Lopez was brought to court several times to address the building code violations.

In October 2012, a fire ignited from a space heater being too close to bedding.  There were no working smoke detectors in the building.  The fire killed one of two brothers that lived in the illegal attic apartment.

Prior to the fire, the city of Chicago took Lopez to court several times beginning in 2007 over building code violations.  He was ordered to not rent out the attic or basement with 17 building code violations; however, he ignored the orders.

Jamie Martinez, a tenant in the illedgal attic apartment, died of smoke inhalation and second and third degree burns.

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