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Rep. Buckner Responds to Deadly Blaze in Kenwood High-Rise, Calls for Safety Funding

Jan 26, 2023 | Buckner

CHICAGO – State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, is calling for new housing inspection and enforcement resources after a deadly fire in the Kenwood community resulted in eight injuries and one death this week.

“I grieve with the family of the deceased and the injured who are now facing a long recovery,” Buckner said. “Yet again, we are witnesses to preventable loss of life and unnecessary suffering. Recent reports of failed safety checks make it clear that this was something we could have stopped. To honor the people who are hurting, we need to be looking for solutions to prevent this from happening again-namely reforming the housing safety inspection process.”

Chicago safety inspectors had cited the building for safety violations 12 times in the past 12 months, including eight related to fire safety.

“After repeated safety inspection failures, the necessary changes were not made. It is clear this process is not working,” Buckner said. “Identifying a problem is not meaningful without ensuring the problem is addressed. Fully funding regulatory agencies so they have the resources to follow up on inspection failures is a vital step-one I am committed to taking.”

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