Students sued for allegedly igniting blaze
Five former residents of the Gold Run apartments are facing lawsuits from insurance companies for allegedly starting an apartment fire in 2006.
A fire engulfed the Gold Run apartments on the morning of Jan. 22, 2006, leaving 75 residents displaced.
Two years later, the aftermath of the incident is about to hit home for five students allegedly involved in starting the blaze.
Ex-roommates Chris Reinhard, Alex Gabel, Greg Paluska, and Aaron Oleshansky and their friend Jody Hoon-Starr will most likely be attending a series of trial dates against three separate insurance companies.
The fire destroyed 36 units at the complex. Police suspect the blaze originated from a hookah that belonged to the five students.
Although there are no criminal charges against the former residents, the insurance companies are attempting to hold them responsible for the damage.
Roger Moore, an attorney for American Family Mutual Insurance Company, filed a lawsuit stating: “Defendant (Hoon-Starr) is responsible for starting the fire and has made admissions that he was likely responsible.”
American Family is seeking $54,000 plus interest from the five students.
Moore declined to answer any questions pertaining to the case.
State Farm Fire and Casualty Company filed a suit for over $390,000 to take care of the claims from Gold Run residents.
A representative of State Farm said the roommates will need to pay for the damages since they owned and controlled the hookah. The State Farm representative would not comment on any other details relating to the case.
Travelers Indemnity Company declined to comment on the case, but according to their suit, they are seeking over $100,000 for their clients.
The five students involved could not be reached for any comments about the case.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Justin Johnson at Justin.firstname.lastname@example.org.