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Flint Mom Demands Justice After Sons Die Because Firefighters Lied About Looking For Survivors In House Fire

Crystal Cooper filed a civil suit after discovering two White firefighters lied about checking the second floor of the burning house where the two boys, aged 9 and 12, were found.

Flint Mom Demands Justice After Sons Die Because Firefighters Lied About Looking For Survivors In House Fire
WNEM; Crystal Cooper/Facebook

12-year-old Zyaire and 9-year-old Lamar Mitchell died due to smoke inhalation after their family's home in Flint, Michigan caught fire in May.

The boys might have been saved if the first pair of firefighters to search the house had thoroughly checked the second floor properly, but they allegedly neglected to do so.

Firefighters Sergeant Daniel Sniegocki and Michael Zlotek were the first to search the second floor of the home when firefighters arrived on scene. They reported an all-clear despite the boys being in their room—one was even still in his bed.

When a second pair of firefighters entered the room hoping to remove an air conditioning unit to vent the smoke, they discovered the two boys still alive and immediately rushed them out of the house.

Unfortunately, both boys died within days from injuries sustained during the fire.

According to Flint Fire Department Chief Raymond Barton, Sniegocki and Zlotek reported to him they had properly cleared the room where the boys were found, but a later investigation determined their statement to be a lie.

While Barton initially recommended both Sniegocki and Zlotek be fired, Sniegocki resigned and Zlotek was initially suspended and has since been reinstated and undergone additional training.

Crystal Cooper, the boys' mother, hired attorneys Robert Kenner Jr. and Todd Flood and will be moving forward with a civil suit against the city.

Flood said there is reason to believe one or both of the boys could have survived if they were found during the initial search and not 6 minutes later.

"Every doctor that I have spoken with ... says a minute can mean the difference between life and death with smoke inhalation."

You can see coverage of the family's news conference here:

WATCH LIVE: Attorney holding press conference on deadly Flint

Social media users were highly critical of the whole situation.

Flint City Council members have since voted to undertake an independent investigation into the incident and were very critical of how everything was handled.

Flint City Councilwoman Tonya Burns said:

"We have two firefighters who falsified documents."

Of the independent investigation, she said:

"It is now at Prosecutor Leyton's office with Assistant Prosecutor Hanson so that we know that the ball is still moving."

Michigan State Police also launched an investigation into the incident.

Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Potbury told The Daily Beast:

"Because it was a City of Flint Fire Department matter, we felt it appropriate that the state police investigate."

Cooper said while it won't bring her children back to her, justice is a start.

"Nothing’s going to make me feel better. But at least getting justice for my children can be a start."