The owners of a Prince George motel that was the scene of a deadly fire this summer have filed a response to a class action lawsuit, saying they took all reasonable care to ensure its fire safety systems were in working order prior to the blaze breaking out.
Instead, Mundi 910 Victoria Enterprises Ltd. and Choice Hotels Inc., say that if anyone is to blame it would be the City of Prince George and the two companies who were in charge of maintaining the system at the Econo Lodge City Centre Inn.
Three people were killed in the July 8 fire that gutted much of the motel in the 900 block of Victoria Street. In September, one of the occupants who survived the blaze filed a class-action lawsuit against the the two owners as well as the City and All Points Fire Protection Ltd. and Aztech Fire Safety Planning and Consulting (2015) Ltd.
In a response filed December 7 at the Prince George courthouse, Mundi and Choice say that on July 6 - two days before the fire - the City through Prince George Fire Rescue inspected the motel's fire preparedness and safety system and found they had met standards.
They also say they followed a fire safety plan that has been prepared by Aztech sometime before the fire and that All Points had inspected and tested the system on in February and March.
The owners further say that at all material times, the motel "was reasonably safe for use by the general public" and they deny that it was "in a dangerous or unsafe condition prior to the fire, whether as alleged or at all."
If there were problems with the system, they say they were due to a failure by the City, Aztech and All Points to "take reasonable care" to ensure it was in proper working order. The owners also suggest the occupants failed to take reasonable care for their own safety.
The allegations have not yet been tested in court and the City, Aztech and All Points have not yet filed responses to the lawsuit, which has not yet been certified by a judge.
The lawsuit's main plaintiff, Leonard Hay, says he suffered second and third degree burns and lost all his possessions in the fire.
Dick Byl Law Corp. and Vancouver-based Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP are listed as the plaintiff's lawyers.