OPELIKA, Ala. — Felisha Core, the mother of the four children who died in a Opelika mobile home fire back in January filed a claim against the Opelika Housing Authority for wrongful death, personal injury, mental anguish/emotional distress and punitive damages.
Jonathan Corley, the family’s attorney provided News 3 with the following statement:
Ms. Core has filed a Sworn Notice of Claim with the Opelika Housing Authority. Alabama law provides that public housing authorities are treated similarly to municipal governments, and the law requires that a Sworn Notice of Claim against a municipal government be filed within six months of the incident giving rise to the claim. Ms. Core has not filed a claim against the City of Opelika, the Opelika Police Department, the Opelika Fire Department, or any of the first responders that assisted with the fire. Ms. Core does not intend to file any such claims. Keiyonna Core continues to recover and is expected to be released from Children’s Hospital by the end of the week. Ms. Core is thankful for Keiyonna’s health and recovery. As for the basis of Ms. Core’s claim, the Sworn Notice of Claim speaks for itself. We are hopeful we can resolve this claim without the necessity of filing a lawsuit.”
The claim cites that a faulty wiring device caused the fire, and the device had been installed around Fall 2015.
The case remains under investigation by the Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office and the City of Opelika.
“Unfortunately, we have four victims in this fire; four fatality victims,” State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen said. “We have some surviving family members that are also victims, but in this case, I’m speaking for the four who no longer have a voice. It’s our job to the best of our ability to look into this thing to try and determine what happened so if nothing else, all of us in society can learn from it and try to prevent something like this from happening again.”
The claim also stated that since the Opelika Housing Authority receives federal grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the OHA was required to periodic and or annual health and safety inspections of the property. The claim went onto add that in the Summer of 2016, an inspection of the property was done, but said that the inspection was done negligently, carefully and or unskillfully and the faulty wiring device was allowed to remain on the premises.
News 3 reached out to the Opelika Housing Authority for a comment on the matter, but they told News 3 that they would not be issuing a comment until everything is finalized.