Families Sue over Fire Fatalities

Families Sue over Fire Fatalities

The families of two of the nine people who were killed in an apartment building fire accident have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the property owner and manager.

Woodlark Enterprises, and the property manager Alex Vence Jr. are accused of negligence in the two lawsuits filed in Cabell County Circuit Court.

The Tragedy

“This was a tragedy, but these deaths were preventable,” said Douglas Adkins, the attorney for Sidney L. Harmon, whose relative Joseph Briar Harmon died in the fire.

Donald Lucas, father of three teenagers killed in the fire filed his own lawsuit, as did Stacie D. Yancey, daughter of Beatrice Devore Yancey, who was also killed in the fire.

The fire, Jan. 13, destroyed the five-story Emmons Jr. Apartments complex. The building was built in 1924 and did not have any sprinklers.

Woodlark Enterprises Speaks

“We have worked hard to make the proper decision about the Emmons property, including what is right in regard to the victims of the fire, their families and friends,” said Jennifer Mason, the attorney for Woodlark Enterprises, owners of the complex.

“Our efforts have included paying for funerals and relocation costs and providing other assistance”

“It is our intention to continue those efforts to the best of our ability our of a sense of compassion. This suit will neither deter nor encourage that effort.”

Judging by Woodlark Enterprises’ comments, settlements in the lawsuits are likely.

The demolition of the fire-ravaged building is expected to begin in the middle of February. The demolition has been delayed due to the discovery of asbestos.

Hurt in a fire accident? If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a fire accident, please contact us today for a complimentary case evaluation by an experienced personal injury attorney who can answer your questions, examine your situation, and help you plan the recovery of your losses.

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