Couple claims house caught on fire twice due to faulty wiring

Kelly Holleran Feb. 5, 2009, 4:41am

A Granite City couple has filed suit against another Granite City couple and a Swansea electric company, alleging their house caught on fire twice as a result of improperly completed electric work.

Cyril and Robin Young claim their house caught on fire Jan. 7, 2008, and on Oct. 7, 2008, as a result of electric work performed by former homeowners Joseph and Linda Cerny and by SJN Electric Company.

The Youngs purchased their home at 2668 Center St. from the Cernys in August 2006, according to the complaint filed Jan. 30 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Before selling the home, the Cernys had installed electric wiring and fixtures "in a faulty and improper manner" in the kitchen, bathroom and attic, the suit states.

However, the Cernys did not reveal any of the electric defects to the Youngs when they purchased the house, the Youngs allege.

Because of the improper wiring work, the first fire on Jan. 7 broke out, according to the complaint.

Later in the month, the Youngs hired SJN to perform repairs to the faulty electrical wiring, the suit states.

But, yet again, on Oct. 7 a second fire broke out.

Its cause was also faulty wiring and electrical work, the Youngs allege.

Because of the fires, the Youngs lost use of their residence, suffered financial damages and a diminution in the value of their property and were forced to pay for repairs, according to the complaint.

The couple also suffered inconvenience, a loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering, the suit states.

The Cernys had a duty to disclose the faulty wiring to the Youngs when they sold the house, but failed to in an attempt to deceive the Youngs, according to the complaint.

"The silence of the Cerny defendants as the faulty electrical wiring and fixtures at the premises was accompanied by a suppression of these material facts and concealment of the electrical conditions by covering over the improper work with plaster and other building materials," the suit states.

SJN did not perform the electrical work in accordance with acceptable standards, the Youngs allege.

The company's installation of electrical wiring, fixtures and circuits was faulty because it failed to properly connect wiring to the electrical panel and left electrical wires exposed in interior spaces, according to the complaint.

Despite the Youngs' request that SJN come back to complete the contract and resolve any problems, SJN refused to complete any repairs, the suit states.

In the three-count suit, the Youngs are seeking a judgment in excess of $150,000, plus pre-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by Kurtis B. Reeg and James G. Nowogrocki of Reeg and Nowogrocki in St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0078.

More News