October 26, 2010, Erie, PA — A house fire on July 25, 2010 caused the deaths of two women, Tyreesha Love Richardson and Gwyneth E. Henry. The women were found dead in a third floor bedroom after the fire, which was subsequently learned to have been set by an unknown arsonist.
Now, a lawsuit has been filed against the property owners, the City of Erie and the Erie Housing Authority for their parts in creating and allowing the unsafe conditions that kept the women from being alerted and escaping the premises.
The lawsuit alleges that the apartment lacked smoke detectors and escape routes required by law. The apartment allegedly failed an inspection in March of 2006 for these reasons but then, inexplicably, passed an April 2006 inspection and subsequent inspections in 2007, 2009 and 2010, despite the fact that there were not smoke detectors on every floor and there was no escape route out of the third floor.
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