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"This...Is About Justice"

  • Published in Local

Flower Branch residents file suit after apartment fire claims seven lives

WASHINGTON – With chants of “justice” and “yes we can,” Flower Branch Apartments tenants announced Wednesday they filed two lawsuits against Washington Gas and Kay Management after a fire killed seven people and displaced about 100 others.

The Silver Spring tenants spoke outside the office of WGL Energy, which owns Washington Gas. The law firms Bailey and Glasser, LLC and Gupta Wessler, PLLC are representing the tenants.

 “Seven people died but no one is saying who is responsible for this. Neither the state, the county nor the federal government has stepped forward to the victims to give them the answers they are entitled to,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA an immigrant advocacy organization.

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Former tenants claim harsh living conditions in apartment complex that blew up

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The fire that killed seven and displaced around 100 people at Flower Branch Apartments exposed the harsh living conditions many of the tenants lived with for years, according to some tenants.

Tenants at the apartment complex located on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring said their apartments are infested with of cockroaches, mice and bedbugs and they regularly deal with “abusive management.”

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Council briefed on deadly Silver Spring fire

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ROCKVILLE -- The apartment complex that was the site of a devastating fire that killed seven people on Aug. 10 received 437 housing code violations when it was last inspected, according to Clarence Snuggs, director of Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA).

Snuggs said the Flower Branch Apartments complex located on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring was last inspected by County officials in May of 2013. Snuggs, along with other County officials, briefed the County Council and reviewed the County’s performance to help the victims of last month’s fire and explosion in Silver Spring.

Snuggs told the Council that the Flower Branch Apartments complex had a history of violations; there were 698 when the complex was inspected in 2010. Snuggs said that many of the violations were not safety-related.

“Not all of those are life-threatening violations,” Snuggs said.

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