HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The southwest Houston property where four firefighters died is at the center of a lawsuit. FOX 26 News was there in court on Friday as attorneys argued over the land.
"That's not passing the smell test,” says community activist Quanell X.
What's fishy about selling the property where four firefighters died in a massive motel fire? Tom Kha was set to buy the land for $3 million but arrived at closing and was told the deal is off. You see there's a billboard on the land. The owner wants to sell the property but continue getting paid by the billboard owner $25,000 a year. Now the owner and the potential buyer are battling in court.
”Somebody from the justice department as well as the Attorney General's Office should get involved and investigate this case,” adds Quanell who says he doesn’t believe this has anything to do with a billboard. ”This was nothing more than a blatant attempt to deceive the families of our first responders who died in the line of duty. This one is an attempt to rob them of compensation by doing a side-door deal,” says Minister X.
Quanell X says the owner of the land stopped the sell for $3 million but then attempted to sell it to a friend for $500,000. "He's going to try to break this deal up for what we call to try to hide the assets from the victim. That's what I believe,” says Tom Kha who is attempting to buy the property.
Attorneys for the owner of the property and the realtors involved say that isn't true. “It has no effect (on the lawsuit involving the firefighters). Purely a billboard dispute. The parties are disputing a billboard that is on the property,” says Attorney Gary Pate who’s representing the realtors in the case.
"It's a billboard dispute and nothing related to the firefighter case,” explains Rick Guerra, lawyer for property owner Roger Chen. Kha claims he was never even told there were lawsuits involving the land. “This is what he told me 'no it's good Tom don't worry about it’” says Kha.
”They thought they had an uneducated, ill informed Asian businessman with large pockets that they could sell the property to secretly and quietly and later he would learn he inherited lawsuits,” says Quanell X.
Judge Larry Weiman will continue hearing the case Aug. 1,.