According to the Cedar Rapids Fire Department the fire started on October 8th 2009 was started by a 3 year old boy playing with matches or a lighter. What’s still unclear is how a 3-year-old obtained the matches or lighter. Another question all parents should ask is why the batteries had not been replaced in the smoke detectors making them operational. When was the last time you tested the detectors in your house?

Here is the link to the story. One-year-old Diarrana Lockett who was severely injured in the fire has since had her condition improve, but further details beyond that are still unavailable. Firefighters had originally responded to the townhouse at 3000 J Street S.W. around 4:33 p.m. Thursday and found the girl on the second floor next to a mattress. Her grandmother, Lesia Funchess had put the young girl to bed at about 3 p.m., sometime after that her grandson had gone upstairs then came back down reporting that there was a problem upstairs.

The grandmother and an unidentified neighbor tried to put the fire out, but were unsuccessful in their attempts. The fire department believes that the fire was started on the mattress.

Part of child-proofing a home is removing temptation. Another part is checking batteries in smoke detectors. Children have a natural curiosity that at times leads to danger. This appears to be one of those situations. House fires like this one should be a warning or an example for other families to get busy checking batteries and the location of matches and lighters. Make them inaccessible.

We wish the families well and if our law firm can be of any help to others with legal matters arising due to house fires, you can contact me through the Lombardi Law Firm website.  House fires create legal issues with the insurance companies refusing to pay claims or offering less than the owners believe they are owed. Also in the case of wrongful death there can be claims involving insurance coverage. We assist with each type of claim.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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