Fatal Fire Killing Ten Prompts Family Lawsuit

BARDSTOWN, KY (AP) -- Relatives of 10 people killed in a house fire in Bardstown last year have filed a lawsuit that names a cigarette company and a furniture maker.

The suit alleges the two companies, Altria Group and Jackson Furniture Industries, could have provided fire-safe products. The suit was filed in Nelson County on Friday.

The suit also names a landlord and maintenance crew, alleging they were negligent for not providing a working smoke detector in the home.

A spokeswoman for Altria, parent company of Philip Morris, declined to comment. A company representative for Jackson Furniture could not be reached for comment.

Fire marshals said the origin of the fire was probably an upholstered chair in the living room. It was probably caused by a dropped or unattended cigarette.

The fire, which officials said was the deadliest structure fire in Kentucky in 30 years, engulfed the Bardstown house on Feb. 6, 2007, killing four adults and six children.

Those killed were Sherry Maddox, 47; Johnny Litsey, 52; Demita "Ann" Wise, 26, and her 2-year-old twins, Heaven and Earth; Crystal Denise Maddox, 30, and her children Deasha Danielle McKinney, 10, Nakiya Genae McKinney, 8, and Dariyel Maddox, 3; and Ann-Aisha Maddox, 17 months, daughter of survivor Lizzie Maddox. The other survivor, Darrell Maddox, is the father of Dariyel Maddox.

Copyright: Associated Press

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