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Public Service Electric and Gas, Locke Stove Co.

North Bergen, NJ: (Jul-02-07) Keri Ann Malo and her sister were in a devastating fire that ripped through their family's home, leaving them with burns over more than half their body and killing their brother, mother, and eventually their father, filed suit against their former landlords, and with Public Service Electric and Gas and the now-defunct Locke Stove Co. The suit alleged that the defendants were responsible in part for the fire and the personal tragedies they faced as a result of it. The fire, at 1325 10th St. on April 30, 1992, happened at five in the morning and started near the home's water heater. Keri Ann Malo, then 6 years old, suffered burns to 52% of her body and underwent 21 surgeries. Her sister, then 8, escaped the blaze but suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome. Their brother, 11-year-old Raymond Malo Jr., and mother, 32-year-old Kathleen Blue, were killed in the blaze. Their father, Raymond Malo Sr., died two years later as a result of the fire.

In a settlement reached, the sisters received a consolidated $8 million, though a non-disclosure agreement prevents them from saying how much each party paid in the settlement. The sisters say they're using part of that money to establish the Burn Advocates Network, which will provide information about fire safety and prevention, fund burn camps and advocate for consumer protection legislation. [JERSEY JOURNAL: FAMILY FIRE]

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Published on Jul-3-07


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