One Grieving Mom in Daycare Fire Retains Attorney, Other Declines Legal Path
Two grieving moms with two different approaches to facing the loss of their children in a tragic home daycare fire.
The mother of one of the children has retained legal counsel to get answers on what caused the fire, and who if anyone should be held responsible.
The mother of the four other children who died in the fire told Erie News Now that she does not intend to hire an attorney.
Attorney John Carlson is representing Karina Facchiano, mother of Dalvin Pacley, who would have turned three in October.
He says Karina, and the parents of the other four children are entitled to know exactly what caused this fire, so that a senseless tragedy like it won't happen again. "First and foremost, my client is entitled and would like answers. What was the cause and origin of this fire? And so we intend to get to the heart of that," Carlson said.
Erie fire investigators have said the early morning fire was likely sparked by an electrical problem, or electrical cords plugged in under the couch area. Along with the ATF and an electrical engineer, they are continuing to examine evidence.
Attorney Carlson, partnering with national firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barret & Bendesky of Philadelphia has told fire investigators they want to have independent experts assess the scene and evidence. "We’ve already reached out to the local authorities as well as the ATF asking them to preserve items that were removed from the house as well as all footage."
Carlson said he reached out to SMBB to lead the legal representation, and to help get to the truth, because of their expertise in mass casualty, wrongful death, fire and product liability cases. "Was this a fire caused by the owner operator’s negligence, or was it a fire that was caused by some sort of electrical shortage or perhaps a product that was defective that caught fire after overheating - these are the answers that we’re seeking on behalf of Karina," Carlson said.
Shevona Overton, the mother of fire victims La'Myhia, Luther and Ava Jones, and Jaydan Augustyniak told us she wants answers too, but believes they will come through the investigation already underway. And she said that taking a legal path won't bring back her kids and will only add the the pain of daycare operator Elaine Harris, who is taking the tragedy very hard.
Attorney Carlson said until the investigation is complete, he isn't casting blame in any direction. "From all that I’ve heard about her, she is a wonderful and loving person," Carlson said, "clearly she didn’t foresee this happening." But he went on to say that its his job to evaluate Karina's case from a legal perspective.