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Posted at 9:26 AM ET, 10/22/2010

Cafritz sues D.C. Water over mansion fire

By Washington Post editors

Peggy Cooper Cafritz, a prominent arts patron and a founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, has filed a $30 million lawsuit against D.C. Water, saying inadequate fire hydrants and water pressure prevented the fire department from containing a blaze that swept through her home in July 2009, NBC 4 reports.

The fire gutted the Chain Bridge Road mansion of the former president of D.C. Board of Education, badly damaging Cafritz's extensive art collection.

D.C. officials said that water pressure problems involving an aged water main and the elevation and layout of streets in Cafritz's neighborhood hampered firefighting efforts.

DC Water director George Hawkins said the department had not yet received the suit, but would study it and take "any appropriate action."

By Washington Post editors  | October 22, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Glad that she sued- and i hope she gets a big settlement !! it's shameful that DC's firefighters cant do their job because of rotten infrastructure!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | October 22, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Who didn't see this coming?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | October 22, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Rich bee-yotch has an attitude.

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | October 22, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I understand the water issues, but if I remember correctly, I thought the house was fully engulfed in flames prior to the fire dept's arrival.

Posted by: alfreda_bowser | October 22, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse we go. One of the wealthiest people in DC who got her fortune the "hard" way (she inherited it) is now going to try to "get hers".

Her houses value (per the original article was 5 million, so basically she is trying to have the rest of us compesate her for her art collection, which she is obviously valuing at 25 Million.

Why the District taxpayers are on the hook for replacing her art collection when she didn't deem it important enough to protect herself is beyond me. What kind of idiot would have 25 million worth of art someplace that didn't have a simple sprinkler or fire suppression system?

And lastly, all the reports have stated that the house was completely engulfed by the time the fire dept even got there.

Posted by: Nosh1 | October 22, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Something VERY fishy here. One doesn't install a water sprinkler sytem where artwork is located. One should install a Halon or other Foam/Powder diffusing system that blankets a fire, but causes far less damage than water....think mold! It's her own fault that such a system wasn't installed! Economy has gone bad and a "convenient fire" has her reaching for sources of money like insurance, lol! She is going for the "easy money" and really has nobody to blame but her own ignorant self. Most wealthy "hand-me-down" people are very stupid and lawsuit happy.

Posted by: WhackArnolds | October 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps she should have looked at insuring these priceless pieces or maybe installing a sprinkler system? What a greedy and stupid b i t c h ! I guess most of us would have the common sense to put the pieces in a museum of somehwre where others could enjoy them! Being this kind of person, I'm glad she got her stuff burnt! People like this deserve what they get in life!

Posted by: hogfarmer55 | October 22, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

That's my mamma. Get'em girl.

Posted by: msdooby1 | October 22, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

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