CALGARY — Three grieving families who lost their young adult children in a fatal house fire two years ago have launched a lawsuit against the landlord of the building.
Tiffany Cox, Jonathan St. Pierre and Colleen Mantei all died after being trapped in their basement suite after a fire erupted, while a visiting friend, Tammy Adacsi, survived.
There was no working smoke detector and the security bars on the windows were bolted.
In 2009, mother and son property owners Akif and Bushra Amin were fined $90,000 for safety violations, pleading guilty to all charges.
But the families say there needs to be more accountability.
Lisa St. Pierre, Jonathan’s mother, says she isn’t angry and has forgiven the property owners, but says there must be consequences for negligence.
“Jonathan had a short life and sometimes I think at least I was blessed to have him for 19 years,” she said.
Colleen’s mother, Joan Mantei, said she thinks all the time about the situation her daughter was in.
“There was no way for her to get out of there,” said Mantei. “She wouldn’t have known there was only one exit — the fire was in front of that exit.”
Cox’s mother, Mitzi Gaudry, said she hasn’t been able yet to move on.
“It’s putting that grieving process in such a dark place for me. I’m sort of on hold and I need to move forward. The only way to do that is to fight.”
Tiffany’s sister, Brianne Cox, said everything’s made harder by that Adacsi, who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, has also filed a lawsuit, not just against the property owners but also the estates of Tiffany and Jonathan.
“They’re dead. What more do you want?” asked Brianne Cox. “She has her life. Unfortunately, those other three kids don’t, and she should be grateful for that every day.”
Statements of defence have not yet been filed.