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Apartment of Lakewood woman who died in 2009 fire settles for $2 million

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on July 5, 2012 at 10:44 am |
July 5, 2012 12:08 pm

The apartment complex of a Lakewood woman who died in a 2009 fire has settled with the woman’s estate for $2 million, the attorney for her estate said.

Aida Vilog, 63, immigrated to the United States from the Philippines to marry her longtime sweetheart two weeks before her death Dec. 22, 2009.

Vilog died in her apartment at 4210 110th St. S.W. after a neighbor’s unit caught fire and the blaze spread.

That neighbor was charged for not reporting the fire to authorities. She pleaded guilty and received a three-year sentence

The building did not have an automatic fire alarm system, said attorney Mike McKasy.

Vilog is survived by her husband.

McKasy sent a press release about the settlement:

The estate of a Lakewood lady who died in an apartment fire has settled a wrongful death claim against the owners of the apartment complex for the sum of $2,000,000.00.

Aida Vilog died on December 22, 2009 in a fire that consumed her second floor apartment unit. She had just returned from her honeymoon and her husband was at work. She was 63 years old at the time of her death.

The fire broke out initially in the apartment below the Vilog unit; the occupant of that unit, Lisa Ann Horton, had consumed at least three glasses of vodka that morning and, while attempting to light her cigarette on her stove, ignited her cigarette lighter, catching Christmas decorations in her unit on fire. Horton walked out of her burning apartment and didn’t report the fire to anyone as it proceeded to consume the complex. She was eventually charged with criminal charges and entered a guilty plea to first degree manslaughter. She is currently in prison in Purdy.

Mike McKasy, attorney for the estate, said that the apartment complex was deficient and failed to have the fire alarm system mandated by the 2006 International Fire Code, specifically section 907.3 requiring an automatic fire alarm system. That Code has been adopted by Lakewood and the State of Washington; it applies to all apartment complexes over 16 units or over 3 stories in height. McKasy indicates it applies to all existing apartments, not just new construction

Rather than a simple smoke detector, the Code requires a centralized alarm system that would have notified the local fire station (three blocks away) and set off alarms in all units.

McKasy says “Hopefully other apartment owners will bring their buildings up to code so there are no further tragedies like this.”

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