Lawsuit Filed in 2014 Minneapolis Fire That Killed 5 Kids

KSTP Eyewitness News, by Tyler BergOctober 21, 2015

KSTP Eyewitness News, by Tyler Berg

A wrongful death lawsuit blames a landlord for the 2014 deaths of five children in a North Minneapolis fire.The family's attorney, Jeff Sieben, said the lawsuit has been in the works for more than a year and was finally filed this week. The lawsuit alleges that negligence of the landlord, Paul Bertelson, contributed to the death of the children, all under 8 years old.

Eight-year-old Christopher, 6-year-old Mary, 4-year-old Fannie, 4-year-old Troy and 1-year-old Gwendyn were all killed in the fire at 2818 Colfax Ave. Two children and their father, Troy Lewis, survived the Valentine's Day blaze. The two surviving children along with their father are parties in the lawsuit.

Sieben said he will use expert witnesses and evidence from the fire to prove that Bertelson didn't provide adequate heating, smoke alarms, emergency escapes and electrical outlets.

"We did a very thorough analysis of those facts, and we are confident that these children should not have perished and would not have perished if the rules were followed," Sieben said. "Fire deaths are preventable if those codes are followed."

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