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Six families of the victims who tragically died in a massive fire in a Bronx apartment building last month have filed lawsuits against the building’s owners.

The suits were filed in the Superior Court in the Bronx. They accused the building owners of safety violations that led to the wrongful death of 17 people, including eight children. 

New York fire officials have blamed a malfunctioning space heater for starting the fire on Jan 9. that resulted in heavy smoke, suffocating the victims. Meanwhile, the 19-story Twin Parks building also lacked adequate heating and windows that didn’t open. 

Bronx Apartment Fire
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a fatal fire at an apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in New York. The majority of victims were suffering from severe smoke inhalation, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Attorney Ben Crump: Justice in this case is holding those responsible”

During a news conference on Feb. 8, survivors of the Bronx fire made their voices heard and demanded justice for their loss. They expressed their heartbreak and frustration due to the tragedy, as many of the survivors still search for a place to live while remaining in hotel rooms. 

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump represents several families in the case, who are mostly West African immigrants. Crump stated “these Black families who lost so much, that seemed to be marginalized not only before the tragic fire broke out, but even in the aftermath.”

Each of the plaintiffs is suing for damages, including pay for hospital stays, medical care, and funeral cost.

“Justice in this case is holding those responsible, accountable and ensuring that no community has to suffer a loss like this again.” Crump said. 

“Profit over people is what this case is about” stated Larry Goldhirsch, who is another attorney involved in the Bronx fire lawsuits. “This is about investors coming to the Bronx, letting these people die in buildings because they’re not interested in the people. They’re interested in profit.” 

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