Scales of justice
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The Rural/Metro Fire Department is being sued in connection with a house that burned down after the homeowners say firefighters failed to fully extinguish and earlier blaze at the residence.

On Jan. 9, 2016, Rural/Metro firefighters responded to an accidental fire in the 900 block of East Chula Vista Road, near North First Avenue and East Ina Road, according to the lawsuit, which was filed July 13 in Pima County Superior Court.

Although Rural/Metro responded and extinguished the fire, firefighters “failed to detect and prevent a rekindle of the fire in the home,” the lawsuit says.

“Rural/Metro negligently and improperly determined, and acted as if, the fire was extinguished and the home and property were protected and safeguarded,” the lawsuit says.

The fire rekindled, burning the home to the ground and causing an estimated $641,886 in damage.

When firefighters left the scene, they acted negligently by failing to make sure the necessary overhaul procedures were completed, including placement of alarms, detectors, monitors or cameras, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Secura Supreme Insurance Co., which represents the homeowners, Jack and Connie Donovan.

In the suit, Secura is asking the court to award general damages; special damages for insurance payments, property damage, additional living expenses, demolition expenses and vehicles; costs, interests and attorney’s fees and other damages deemed reasonable by the court. No dollar amount is specified in the lawsuit.

Scottsdale attorney Kathleen Kassmann, who is representing Secura, did not respond to the Star’s request for comment. A representative from Rural/Metro also did not respond for comment.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlinschmidt