Chesapeake couple sues neighbors over fire

By Justin Anderson | Feb 24, 2009

CHARLESTON -- A Chesapeake couple is suing their neighbors over a fire that destroyed the neighbors' home.

Junior Jack Ferrell and Kim Ferrell contend faulty wiring was to blame for a Dec. 6 fire that destroyed the home of Christopher M. and Victoria Slater and prompted firefighters to douse the Ferrells' adjacent home with water and other chemicals, causing more than $50,000 worth of damage.

According to the Ferrells' complaint, prepared by lawyer Edward J. George, the couple was not at their home on 134th Street in Chesapeake when the fire broke out in the Slaters' home.

Firefighters from Chesapeake and other emergency crews responded to the blaze, which had already engulfed the Slaters' home, which was considered a total loss.

Firefighters were worried that the blaze would spread to the Ferrells' home, so they doused it with water and "other fire extinguishing substances" from high-pressure hoses to mitigate the chances.

The Ferrells contend that their house was badly damaged. Their complaint says windows in the house were broken out and the siding and roof were damaged. The interior of the home was "completely inundated" with smoke, water and other debris, the Ferrells claim.

The damage was estimated at $54,600, according to the complaint.

The Ferrells claim they tried to get the Slaters to pay up for the damage to no avail, prompting the Feb. 9 lawsuit now pending in Kanawha Circuit Court before Judge Paul Zakaib.

The lawsuit blames the Slaters' alleged inattention to the wiring in their home for the fire.

They are seeking the money to pay for the repairs to the house, as well as damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of their home, mental anguish, annoyance, inconvenience and legal fees.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-202

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