Second suit filed over Emmons fire

By Cara Bailey | Feb 22, 2007

HUNTINGTON - A relative of a man who died in the worst fire in recent Huntington history has filed a suit against the building owners and manager, the second such suit in two weeks.

Sidney Harmon filed on behalf of the estate of Joseph Briar Harmon, Feb. 15 in Cabell Circuit Court, naming Woodlark Properties, Woodlark Enterprises and Alex Vence Jr., the building manager, as defendants.

Joseph Harmon died Jan. 13 in the Emmons Jr. apartment building fire, which killed nine people and injured several others. The fire destroyed the 64 units in the five-story apartment building, and 32 units in the Emmons Sr. building next door were heavily damaged by smoke and water.

The suit says Harmon died due to the "fire, smoke and toxic gasses that spread throughout the apartment building at a rapid rate of speed."

The lawsuit also states that Woodlark and Vence had duties to provide a safe building, which would include a sprinkler system, which Emmons did not have, as well as complying with building regulations.

Sidney Harmon is seeking compensatory damages ias well as punitive damages.

On Feb. 6, Stacie Yancey and Donald Lucas filed a joint suit on behalf of four victims of the fire.

Harmon is being represented by S. Douglas Adkins of the law firm Gardner, Cyrus and Adkins. The case has been assigned to Judge David Pancake, as was the Feb. 6 case.

Cabell Circuit Court case number 07-C-138

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