Deadly Fire Settlement

The survivors of seven people who died in a Rocky Mount house fire in 2000 have reached a three-and-a-quarter million dollar settlement with the city of Rocky Mount and a landlord. The city will pay three million dollars and landlord Farouk Hamad will pay 250-thousand dollars. Hamad also agreed to turn over seven pieces of property in Rocky Mount to the families. Six children ages 4 months to 14 years and a 49-year-old died in the fire. Ten people escaped. The fire department's final report on the blaze listed the cause as undetermined. The lawsuit claimed the house had no working smoke detectors. Hamad said he had two installed months before the fire. The city ordered Hamad to make repairs to the house to bring itup to code, but there was no documentation by city inspectors whether the house was equipped with smoke detectors after the repairs.