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Continued: Father blames lack of heat in duplex fire that killed five of his children

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER and MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 26, 2014 - 9:44 PM

Lewis said that Mission Inn told him the heating issue would be resolved and that the family was on the list to get it repaired. Bertelson said he was not aware of any list for heat-related repairs.

Lewis, 60, said that the electric baseboard heaters, which were individually controlled, worked only in his bedroom and the living room.

“Not my son[’s room], not my girls’ room,” Lewis said, later saying that all five girls slept in two bedrooms on the third floor. “They would always come down like little Egyptians with all the clothes wrapped around them.”

He also said the smoke detectors did not activate, adding that they did not go off in the past when he burned food he was cooking.

“There was no warning for me,” he said. “The only warning that I got was smoke into my bedroom and the crying from my kids.” A city inspector found that smoke detectors were not working in the property in July, but city records show that the violation was resolved after another inspection.

 

eric.roper@startribune.com 612-673-1732 maya.rao@startribune.com • 612-673-4210



 

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