ESL apartment complex owner sued over child's death in fire

Kelly Holleran Jan. 25, 2012, 10:37am


The relatives of a recently deceased six-year-old boy seek retribution after they say he lost his life in a fire at an East St. Louis apartment complex.

Marie Ware-Collins filed a lawsuit Jan. 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Denverside Redevelopment Corporation.

In her complaint, Ware-Collins alleges Kenyartte Griffin Jr. was living in an apartment at 1641 Boismenue Avenue in East St. Louis when a fire broke out on Jan. 18, 2010. The apartment complex failed to have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. In turn, the fire department was not aware of the fire that had erupted at the building, according to the complaint.

As a result of the fire, six-year-old Griffin died in the fire, the suit states.

Before his death, Griffin suffered severe physical pain and mental anguish, the complaint says.

Because of his death, Griffin's grandmother, mother and brother have lost his consortium and suffered grief and sorrow, Ware-Collins claims.

Ware-Collins blames Denverside Redevelopment Corporation for contributing to Griffin's death, saying the company negligently failed to have proper working smoke detectors, failed to have working fire extinguishers and failed to provide proper upkeep of the premises.

In her complaint, Ware-Collins seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Jarrod P. Beasley of The Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-29.

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