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Sounds Like Gunshots Woke Tenants In Massive Apartment Fire That Claimed Three Lives

Landlords building owners have a duty to maintain their property, to inspect the premises for problems and to warn of hazardous conditions. If they shirk this responsibility, serious injuries or death can occur. For victims who file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, Lawsuit Financial may be able to provide premise liability lawsuit funding.

Three people died and six were injured after a blaze broke out at the Springmist Apartments in Winchester, Kentucky. According to Fire Chief Cathy Rigney, firefighters were called to the apartment complex sometime after 1 a.m. on March 11. When they arrived, heavy smoke and flames were coming from the windows and out of the roof of the two-story structure. Rigney said some people jumped from second-story windows to escape the fire. Two people were found dead inside the building; a third person died after being transported to the hospital. At least 10 units were destroyed, displacing residents. Rigney said she didn’t know if each unit had a working smoke detector, but said the wood frame building had no sprinkler system. A preliminary investigation showed that the fire originated in a main floor apartment where one of the tenants was smoking while using an oxygen machine. The 55-year-old man, Jackie Hisle, Jr., has been arrested on three counts of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the fire.

Two civil lawsuits have been filed alleging negligence and dangerous conditions. Ervin Reynolds, the husband and administrator of the estate of Tina Reynolds, 29, who died in the fire, claims that the fire started in Hisle’s apartment and spread to the second floor. Mr. Reynolds said he jumped from a bedroom window and was seriously injured, but his wife did not jump and died in the fire. The lawsuit alleges that the apartment building did not have required fire stops (physical barriers designed to stop the spread of flames), alarms or escapes, and the owners failed to keep the building up to local or state building codes. The lawsuit names Jackie Hisle Jr., B&P Apartments, who owned the building, and John Hall (the owner when the complex was built) as defendants. Hall is listed as a defendant because government records show that he “was to complete fire stops with fire separation of one hour,” but that the “stops were not properly installed … if installed at all.”

The second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Eric Everman and the estate of Dixie Everman, 71, who also died in the fire. That lawsuit says Eric jumped from a second-floor window “to prevent himself from being burned alive.” Dixie also jumped but died later at the hospital. The Everman lawsuit says that there were “inadequate sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, smoke detectors, and an inadequate evacuation plan or means of escape for the occupants in the event of a fire.”

Both lawsuits say that B&P Apartments “knew or should have known” that Hisle smoked near his oxygen machine and “was not capable of managing the flammable and explosive material.” B&P Apartments denies the allegations. Hisle’s son, Donald, 36, also died in the fire.

James Tackett, the current property owner, said he cleans each apartment when a tenant moves out and ensures that it has a working smoke detector before a new tenant moves in. Tackett said some of the apartments are government subsidized and must pass inspection, which would not happen if the smoke detectors didn’t work. He also said that the apartments have small stoves that frequently set off the detectors, so some tenants have been known to take down the smoke detectors or remove the batteries.

If it is determined that a case for negligence can be proven, case resolution by settlement or a verdict may take months, even years. If the plaintiffs find themselves needing financial assistance during this time, they may want to investigate and obtain a lawsuit cash advance from Lawsuit Financial.

The main reason plaintiffs seek lawsuit funding is that the process is quick and easy, it takes away the financial pressure to settle a case too early, for too little, and permits victims to wait out the process to achieve fair and equitable case results. In contrast to traditional bank loans, with lawsuit funding there is absolutely no collateral needed, therefore there is no need for a credit check or employment verification. As long as the case is strong, funding approval is usually granted.

Once approved, Lawsuit Financial clients receive their cash advance within 24-48 hours by check or wire. There are no monthly payments or upfront fees. While we recommend the money be used for “life necessities” such as car and mortgage payments and tuition or medical expenses, there are no limitations on how the money is used. Our clients pay back the money once they receive their settlement, but if they lose their case, they owe us nothing.

If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a tragic accident such as this apartment fire and doubt you can maintain your life financially while awaiting your case to settle, lawsuit funding could be the answer you need. Contact Lawsuit Financial for a free case analysis.