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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  • by melissa Location: store on Sep 18, 2008 at 09:40 AM
    on the house fire that killed ten i would just want to say that i really miss everyone in that housefire and just wanted to say i'm happy that they're in heaven i love De'ashia and Nakiya they were my best friends.
  • by Carla Sparrow Location: Bardstown,Ky on May 6, 2008 at 02:30 PM
    Im the mother of one of the children in the housefire. I dont appreciate all the harsh comments that are being made on this article! You didnt have to experience the pain of this! Please keep your comments to yourself! Mother of Dariyel Maddox. R.I.P.
  • by johnny Location: ky on Feb 5, 2008 at 04:05 AM
    are they going to sue the company that makes the lighters might as well sue them to.might get some money off ove them to this sounds silly to me no one made them smoke.
  • by Donnie Location: Lawrenceburg on Feb 5, 2008 at 03:01 AM
    First it is sad that all these people died and my prayers are with the family but.... Gimmie a break!, Sue the cigarette company and the furniture company?? Should it be their fault that this person was smoking in that chair and the chair caught on fire and killed all those folks??... Uh, NO! And to not having a smoke detector...Go to your local fire department and they will give you one in the event you can not afford to get them and if you can then buy them and install them. Do not wait around for another person to protect you and your family. Hopefully the judge will dismiss this as a bogus lawsuit with the exception of the property owner as he is responsible for the up keep of his property. One question about the property owners responsibility though?...did anyone make him aware that the detectors were not working or there where none???????
  • by Denise Location: London on Feb 4, 2008 at 11:15 AM
    All the adults in the house where drunk as well. Are the suing Budweiser?
  • by non smoker Location: ky on Feb 4, 2008 at 08:44 AM
    beginning in march I think, all Cigarette companys will be required to use a paper that is suppose to prevent this type of thing from happining. the case in question here, it's the person who was smoking the cigarette is the responsible party, these companies did not light that cigarette and lay it on the chair to burn, these people are just looking for get rich deal. bet they already know what they are going to spend the money on.
  • by poorman Location: danville on Feb 3, 2008 at 07:29 PM
    just looking for a handout and to blame someone else, just plain stiupid. this was a tragedy that should have never happened but to blame the cigeratte co or the couch for not being fire retardent is just plain stupid.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2008 at 02:37 AM
    Let me start by saying that I am truely sorry that these people lost their lives ... but I have a problem with bringing charges against these two companies. Did the cigarette company make this person smoke ... um no, and did the furniture company make this family buy their furniture ... no again. So where is the fault on these two companies?? I agree that the landlord should have smoke detectors in the home ... If you are living in a home with small children do you not think that a smoke detector would be an important item that you would purchase yourself? I know this family is hurting, but I really think they need to stop throwing the blame onto other people and companies. I believe the blame was a little closer to home.
  • by Gail Location: Lawrenceburg on Feb 2, 2008 at 08:02 PM
    This is a prime example of greed in America. I am a smoker and I even know that you have to be very responsible when it comes to cigarettes; no smoking in a reclined position; no dumping of hot ashtrays, etc. It's very sad that these people died, but the cigarette and furniture makers are not liable. As for the smoke detector - waiting on a landlord to provide a working smoke detector would not deter me - I'd buy them myself. I would not rely on others to protect my family. No one in American wants to take responsibility anymore.
  • by SGT Howard Location: KY on Feb 2, 2008 at 08:02 PM
    its a shame we want to sue anyone to get a buck off of someone elses back, this was a tragedy, but to blame the cigeratte maker and the couch for not being fireproof, this is just plain stupid. i suppose the cigerette lit its self and this couch when it was purchased was specificly asked to be fire retardent, did they buy one that was supposed to be like that? did they test their smoke detector momthly as it is reccomended? did they change out the battery or was all this just a terrible accident and one must take the blame upon themselves?
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