Fort Smith group suing federal government over 2011 fire

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) – The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over a 2011 fire that destroyed a World War II-era hospital complex.

The authority’s lawsuit alleges that members of the Kentucky National Guard caused the fire and that the federal government is responsible for the guard members’ actions. The lawsuit is seeking $650,000 for the destruction of 111 buildings, plus the cost of cleanup and remediation.

Officials reported that the fire was sparked by cigarettes that were tossed into tinder-dry weeds by guard members who sneaked onto the hospital complex looking for ghosts.

The Kentucky National Guard didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ( ).

A spokesman with the Arkansas National Guard declined to comment.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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