A mobile home on the Aquilini-owned Red Mountain Vineyard in Washington State caught on fire in July 2017. (Benton County Sheriff’s Department)

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Several businesses owned by the Aquillini family are denying any negligence after a fire killed two children on property owned by the family’s vineyard in Washington State.

The response, filed in King County Superior Court on Oct. 16 against multiple Aquilini businesses including Luigi Aquilini, was in response to a civil suit the parents of the children filed in July. The Aquillini family owns the Vancouver Canucks and a number of B.C. development properties.

The negligent death suit stems from a July 2017 fire at the Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State. The suit alleges two children died of injuries from the fire as a result of the Aquillinis’ negligence.

In their response, the companies argue they are not liable because the family were “trespassers” on the property.

In the suit, parents Sergio and Erika Hernandez said they left their two kids, Alex, 10, and Patty, 7, sleeping in the home while they briefly stepped out.

Sergio returned home to see smoke and flames coming from the homes. He said he ran inside and rescued his children from the smoke and flame filled home.

The civil suit alleges Patty and Alex died in August 2017 and January 2018, respectively, after experiencing “horrific suffering and pre-death pain” in hospital.

The parents claim there were no working smoke detectors in the home, which made it so “there was no warning” to those inside that a fire was brewing.

But in the initial suit, the Hernandez family said the mobile home they lived in with their two children was provided by the vineyard.

The Hernandezes allege that the Aquilini-owned business carried out “extensive work” on the mobile home and altered the electrical system, all without any permits or safety inspections.

In the companies’ response, they state the Hernandez family’s claims “if any,” were “proximately caused by the faults of other persons” over which the companies had no control over.

Sergio, court documents said, has been unable to work since the fire after suffering burns on more than 30 per cent of his body.

The companies alleges the family’s damages are a “result of the plaintiffs’ failure to mitigate” them. The companies ask for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

The suit asks for general, special and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees, from the Aquilinis and their businesses.

Luigi Aquilini has yet to file a response.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Blackmun Bay project in West Kelowna rejected by city councillors

Four nine-storey buildings with 700 residential and hotel units were originally planned for site along Campbell Road

‘Homes not shelters’: Those living on Kelowna streets rally for rights

On Tuesday, Leon Avenue residents came together to demand change

Two vehicle crash on Harvey Avenue

Traffic is slow going on Harvey Avenue near Cooper Road in Kelowna

Kelowna’s mayor questioned on transit, housing and quality of life

The luncheon was held at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna on Tuesday

Former Kelowna Mountie has breach of trust case moved again

The former Mountie is facing seven misconduct charges from incidents during his time as an officer

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

North Okanagan councillor pitches homeless camp at city hall

805 bylaw calls in 10 months were for inappropriately set-up camps

Vernon car fire deemed suspicious

SUV found fully engulfed with nobody around at 4 a.m. Tuesday on Commonage Road

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Penticton arts, culture and sports programs get boost of over $500,000 thanks to provincial grant

The B.C. Community Gaming Grants program will be distributing $505,900 to 18 local groups

Okanagan school districts reach agreement with CUPE Local 523

The union represents members who provide a variety of services to support students

North Okanagan motorists advised of road disruptions

Silver Star Road work scheduled for Thursday

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Most Read