New lawsuits are being filed that seek justice on behalf of the families killed in last month’s devastating Bronx apartment fire.  Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is behind the suits which target the building owner and investors over the tragic blaze that killed 17 people, eight of them children. 

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Reportedly, a malfunctioning heater started the fire and doors that were supposed to close automatically didn’t, allowing smoke to escape and spread.

Attorney Ben Crump said safety rules were overlooked, adding the residents who lived in the 120-unit building were largely African immigrants, that were marginalized both before and after the blaze. 


“Windows couldn’t open up, and the smoke couldn’t escape, there is no proper egress in this building where people can escape, so literally they died from their lungs filling up with smoke,” Crump revealed in a press conference, according to CBS New York.

“If these were white citizens and you had 17 people lose their lives and others catastrophically injured that we would not only be talking about civil liability and civil citations,” Crump said, according to The Hill. “We would be talking about criminal culpability.”

The defendants named in the deadly Bronx apartment fire lawsuit include three investment firms along with building owners Bronx Park Phase III Preservation and the Bronx Phase III Housing company.

This news follows Fat Joe, and Cardi B, Bronx natives, and the New York City Mayor’s Fund launching relief efforts to gather money for victims and their families.