A woman who survived a deadly fire at a hotel in downtown Vancouver has filed a class-action lawsuit against the building’s owner, the operator of the residence and the city’s fire department.
Plaintiff Jennifer Hansma is expected to join other survivors and members of a local housing advocacy group at a news conference later today to mark the one-year anniversary of the fire, which killed two people and displaced dozens.
The suit says the owner and nonprofit manager of the 110-year-old building, which serves as a dormitory for low-income residents, failed to ensure fire safety measures were in place, and the city did not enforce safety codes to the same standard it does elsewhere. arrive.
A second fire broke out in the building days before the deadly blaze, and while the fire was quickly extinguished by the sprinkler system and residents used extinguishers, the fire alarm was not activated, the claim said.
It said no steps were taken to reset sprinklers or fire alarm systems or replace fire extinguishers before the blaze killed two people and destroyed the building three days later.
The claims have not been tested in court, and the defendants, the City of Vancouver and nonprofit housing provider Atira, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit filed Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court.
The plaintiff said in a statement that she lost her cats, family heirlooms and gifts from her late mother in the fire, and that survivors have been waiting a long time for answers.
Months after the fire, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced a coroner’s inquest into the deaths of the two men whose bodies were found in the wreckage, saying the jury would hear sworn witnesses and may make recommendations.
Deadly Fire Law and Justice Vancouver