Suit over Western Pennsylvania Fire that Killed 4 Dismissed

November 2, 2009

A panel of judges has dismissed a lawsuit against a utility company for a western Pennsylvania fire that killed four people.

Two Cambria County judges say Penelec, which cut off service days before the fire, can’t be held liable because a candle caused it. A third judge disagreed, saying a jury should hear the case.

The ruling, filed Wednesday, also dismisses claims against a company that called delinquent customers.

A woman, her grandson and two visitors died in the May 14, 2005, fire in Hastings.

The suit also names the rental property’s owner and a man living there who’s accused of leaving the candle unattended.

Attorneys for the victims’ families say they’ll appeal, but aren’t sure whether the case will proceed against the other defendants.

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