City responds to Orange Mound fire lawsuit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It was horrific fire that claimed the lives of seven people from the Poole family. A mother, her children, and cousins all died in a fire in an Orange Mound triplex in August.

Now the survivors have filed a $90 million lawsuit against the city and the landlord Frank Holland.

"There should have been smoke detectors that were sounding alarms that could have warned these people getting out early. Witnesses said nobody heard an alarm," attorney Jeff Rosenblum said.

Rosenblum said there were not enough exits either. He said the city is part of the lawsuit because the triplex was not up to code and should never have passed inspection.

City attorney Elbert Jefferson said there is a cap on what survivors can get from the city. $300,000 a victim and no more than a total of $700,000.

Rosenblum said Landlord Frank Holland, along with several companies associated with him, is the primary target of the lawsuit. Aman he said did not protect his renters.

"We hope it sends a message to every landlord to make their property more safe," Rosenblum said.

Action News 5 was unable to contact Frank Holland for a comment. He did say in an interview last month that he did not know the property had problems.

to e-mail Janice Broach.