Our sister station WLBK reports that a resident of a DeKalb apartment building that caught fire is suing the building’s owner arguing the company should’ve done more to secure the building before a suspected case of arson.
The lawsuit against Hunter Ridgebrook Properties has been filed in DeKalb County Court on behalf of Dominique Warner and two of her children, who live on the second floor at 808 Ridge Drive, which was condemned following a fire Tuesday night.
DeKalb officials have said the fire started when someone lit mattresses in a hallway on fire.
The lawsuit claims Hunter Ridgebrook Properties knew the mattresses were in the hall. The lawsuit says that before Tuesday, the company “was notified of the dangerous unsecured mattresses that were against a wall of the interior hallway located in the complex.”
The lawsuit says on or before Tuesday, the company “knew or should have known” that the mattresses “were dangerous and caused an unreasonable risk of harm to its tenants.”
The lawsuit filed by lawyer Nicholas Cronauer also claims Hunter Ridgebrook Properties should have done more to secure the building.
The lawsuit says the owners had a duty to provide adequate security and should have known about the danger of criminal activity because of past crimes at the building, violent crimes near the building and crimes at the building that the lawsuit claims were the result of a lack of tenant screening.
The lawsuit says “an adequately trained security guard force and other security equipment” would’ve prevented the crime.
The lawsuit also alleges the owners failed to have a secured entrance keeping non-residents out of common hallways and failed to have a fully functioning fire alarm system.
The lawsuit says after the fire broke out, Warner had to jump from her second-floor apartment after throwing her children out of the window hoping they would be caught by her fiancé below.
The lawsuit claims Warner and her children suffered pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, physical and emotional trauma, medical expenses, property damage and other related expenses.
The lawsuit seeks at least $50,000.
No arrests on arson charges have been announced in the fire at 808 Ridge Drive as well as another fire that happened Thursday morning at 930 Greenbrier Road.
DeKalb authorities suspect the fire at the building at 930 Greenbrier Road, which is also owned by Hunter Properties, was also a case of arson.