EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A second lawsuit was filed Thursday against the owners of an apartment building that burned to the ground last week in Edgewater, New Jersey.
A mother and daughter who lived in the Avalon at Edgewater sued AvalonBay Communities for damages Thursday, asserting they suffered mental anguish and emotional distress in addition to economic loss.
Last Wednesday’s blaze was started by workers doing plumbing repairs. The five-alarm fire destroyed 240 units, permanently displacing 500 residents and temporarily displacing another 520 residents from surrounding buildings.
Edgewater Police Chief William Skidmore said the maintenance workers tried to douse the fire, but things soon got out of control.
“They tried to suppress it themselves and then they called their supervisor,” he said. “It was a very big contributor to it because there was a delay in the response of the fire department.”
On Monday, two other former residents sued and are seeking class action status for the lawsuit. The suit filed Thursday doesn’t seek the same classification; attorney Michael Epstein, who represents plaintiffs Sarah and Lisette Jacobo, said in an email that he felt a class action was not appropriate “because every victim has independent and different losses.”
A spokesman for AvalonBay Communities said the company had no comment on the lawsuits.