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Condo residents burned by fire mulling lawsuits

Lawsuits are on the minds of some condo residents after learning the official cause of the devastating Millrise fire last week was a carelessly discarded cigarette butt.

Lawsuits are on the minds of some condo residents after learning the official cause of the devastating Millrise fire last week was a carelessly discarded cigarette butt.

Although fire officials declared the blaze accidental in nature, resident Lindsay Holoyuk said she may sue the resident who unknowingly started the blaze that spread across 158 units.

“I am a smoker and even I know not to just throw a smoke out, and I’m only 25. I just think it’s common sense and can’t believe a smoke has ruined so many lives,” she said.

Even more concerning to Holoyuk was pulling up to the remains of her condo yesterday and witnessing a cleaning crew throwing things out of her apartment into a dump truck.

“I’m upset. Nobody is telling me anything and that is my stuff. I was supposed to take photos for my lawyer and I don’t have insurance and I don’t know what they are doing in there.”

While some may pursue legal action, another resident changed her mind when an insurance adjuster found a fourth-generation heirloom ring amongst the charred remains of her home.

“It’s my diamond in the rough. I said everything would be better for the rest of my life if I could just somehow get that ring back and they actually found it. It was the only thing left in the condo not burned,” Joanne Lipinski said.

“I don’t care about all of the stuff I lost now that I got the ring back.”

Fire spokesperson Jeff Budai said this is the second time this month a carelessly discarded smoke has caused a fire.

“It’s really unfortunate for the residents and it was an accident, but people need to be more diligent,” he said.