William Gerritsen, who lived alone at 899 Market Street, has been identified as the man who was killed in the fire. Seven other residents escaped, reportedly without serious injury, but are now homeless. Two businesses were also destroyed, including "The Whole Darn Thing," a popular sub shop.
Fire investigation officials have initially determined that "(T)he cause of the fire was accidental and improper use of supplemental heating appliances." In other words, it appears a space heater is to blame, perhaps because someone used it improperly.
Having handled multiple fire loss claims, we can tell you that the key to successful handling of civil litigation arising out of a fire is prompt investigation and preservation of evidence. Fire officials often sweep in and do a fine job, for their purposes. However, public fire officials aren't always concerned with preserving evidence for a civil trial that may come years later. Experienced Pennsylvania fire loss lawyers know that it is critical to get a trained forensic fire examiner on the scene as soon as possible.
Contact a Pennsylvania Fire Loss Attorney
If you or your family has suffered loss as a result of a fire, including personal injury, death or catastrophic property loss, contact the fire loss lawyers who help people in northwest Pennsylvania, including Meadvillle, Erie, Franklin and Warren, at 814-580-5017 or toll free at 877-505-9548 or use the contact form at the right side of this page.