Alpine Motel owner files suit, claiming negligence against others in deadly fire
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Approaching the two year mark since the deadly Alpine Motel Apartments fire in downtown Las Vegas, a new lawsuit has been filed by the former apartment’s owner.
The 23-page lawsuit claims others should also be held responsible for the fire that killed six people and injured dozens of others.
“If the alarm company doesn’t tell you the alarm’s not working, if the city doesn’t come tell you have code problems and if your manager doesn’t give space heaters to the people who need space heaters than [Adolfo Orozco] is not the only one responsible,” attorney representing Orozco and Alpine Motel Dominic Gentile said.
Orozco faces criminal charges including involuntary manslaughter.
Fire investigators determined the 2019 fire started from an unattended stovetop in a tenant’s apartment. It was ruled an accident.
Orozco’s attorney’s shared with FOX5 screenshots of text messages from as early as October 2019 that show unopened boxes of space heaters that they said were supposed to be installed for tenants by the onsite manager Jason Casteel.
“[Orozco] is not the on-premises manager of any of his buildings. That’s the reason you have an on-premises manager, and that’s why you pay them. Do your job and the job was not done,” Gentile said.
Fire investigators found 16 code violations including missing smoke alarms and a bolted exit door. However, records show the last fire inspection was more than a year and a half before the fire. The building had a history of failed inspections dating back to 2016.
The lawsuit questions why it had been a year and a half since the last fire inspection when they happened more frequently in recent years.
“Just from that pattern one would infer there should have been an inspection,” Gentile said.
The complaint also accuses the fire alarm company of negligence. The alarm system wasn’t operated properly since late November 2019, and the lawsuit alleges it was largely ignored by the company.
The lawsuit states that every day between Nov. 28 and Dec. 21 EDS Electronics received a notification that the fire alarm system was malfunctioning.
Thursday evening, FOX5 actively attempted to reach out to the defendants in the complaint filed by Orozco’s attorneys. As of Thursday evening, only the city responded and said it does not comment on pending litigation.
A number of tenants have filed suit since the fire. The two-year statute of limitations is coming up in just weeks.
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