Family Of Fairmount Fire Victims Sues The Philadelphia Housing Authority

Family Of Fairmount Fire Victims Sues The Philadelphia Housing Authority

Relatives of the women and children killed at the Vermont apartment complex this past January have filed a lawsuit against the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

According to attorney Thomas Klein, the lawsuit alleges that the Public Health Department knew the home was overcrowded and had a security threat.

The lawsuit also lists a California-based company that sells Techno Torch lighters as a defendant. The fire was started by a five-year-old boy who lit a Christmas tree in a multi-storey building using technofail products. The plaintiffs argued that the lighter had no safety features to prevent young children from using it.

Klein represents the families of Rosalie MacDonald, Destiny MacDonald, Quintian Tate MacDonald, Jania Roberts, and Quincy White. He said the families of the other three victims were also preparing to file a lawsuit.

On January 5, 2022, at approximately 6:30 a.m., a fire spread from the top floor of a building in the 800 block of North 23rd Street. This house is divided into two apartments located on three floors: one apartment on the ground floor and part on the second floor, the other on the third floor and part on the second floor. Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said eight people live in the lower block while another 14 live together.

When the boy who set the tree on fire fled the building, 12 people died, including nine children. They all live upstairs.

This terrible tragedy, which resulted in the death of dear people, could and should have been avoided. After a lengthy ATF investigation, an ATF report, and our own independent investigation, we are now ready to move forward and seek not only compensation, but also liability,” Klein said.

The property failed security checks in 2015 and 2017, Klein said, and the Department of Public Health has not confirmed that the home is prepared for emergencies. The apartment does not have fire exits, fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that can be opened.

The Department of Mental Health said it did not receive the complaint and could not discuss the pending lawsuit.

The property was last inspected in May 2021 and all smoke detectors were working properly at that time,” PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremy said after the fire .

Firefighters found that most of the apartment's fire detectors had one box malfunctioning, and two others without batteries.

After the fire, President Joe Biden signed a bill requiring improvements to smoke alarms in public housing. The law was introduced in September. Bob Casey and Vice. Madeline Dean requires that tamper resistant fire detectors be installed on every bedroom level in and near every public housing unit.

In Philadelphia, residents can order a new fire alarm for their home through Philly311.

Officials released their initial findings after 12 people were killed in a fire at their Vermont apartment complex.

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