Fire 'hero' sued for wrongful death in Bellevue condo fire

KING 5 NEWS

By Alison Grande
June 22, 2017
Twitter @alisonKIRO7

The family of the two victims killed in the Bellevue Chimney condominiums fire wants to hold the man who police say started the fire accountable.

They filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Christo Fournarakis and his wife, along with the Chimney Homeowner's Association.

Minna Hu, 58, and her son Steven Hu, 29, were inside their third floor condo when the fire started two floors below on October 24, 2016. They both died of smoke inhalation, trapped in their unit, both exits were blocked with flames. Hu's husband and other son were not home during the fire.

The fire investigation, released by Bellevue police, said the fire was accidental and started in the first floor unit after resident Christo Fournarakis threw marijuana smoking materials into a recycling container. A blanket and mattress caught fire and flames quickly spread throughout the building.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the estates for the victims says Fournarakis smoked pot, threw the smoking material in a recycling bin, watched porn in a different bedroom, then took a shower.

While in the shower he smelled smoke and instead of calling 911, Fournarakis tried to put out the fire himself, the lawsuit states. It also states Fournarakis made the situation worse by pulling the burning mattress into the living room which allowed the fire to spread up both sides of the unit.

The fire consumed both stairwells so the mother and son in the third floor unit could not escape, according to the lawsuit.

Andrew Ackley