The insurance company State Farm Lloyds is suing Sikka Investments, a Plano-based investment company that owns the property where the massive fire that destroyed several houses in Balch Springs started.
On July 26, Balch Spring Fire Marshal, Sean Davis, determined the blaze that burned two dozen houses the day before, was ignited by a mower. According to Fox 4 News, Davis explained the mower was used to trim the brush when one of the blades struck a piece of debris generating a spark that kindled the dried grass. By the time firefighters got things under control, a total of 26 houses were affected by fire, smoke, or water damage. Of the 26, nine were completely destroyed.
The field that was being mowed is owned by Sikka Investments which had previously received two requests from the city asking for the grass to be cut, followed by a citation to appear in court. This is why a crew was working on the field at the corner of Interstate 20 and Belt Line Road.
According to authorities’ estimates at the time, the total property damage caused by the fire exceeded $6 million.
Now State Farm Lloyds filed a personal injury lawsuit against Sikka Investments on behalf of three homeowners affected by the blaze, Edgar Cruz, Mario Thompson and Miguel Quinonez, asking for the company to pay more than 1 million dollars in damages, along with interest and court and attorney fees. According to the lawsuit the three residences were destroyed to the point they were uninhabitable.
“The fire at issue started because the property owned by Defendant Sikka was improperly maintained and mowed in an unsafe manner and/or when conditions made undertaking such an activity unsafe,” reads the lawsuit (via WFAA).
According to The Dallas Morning News, State Farm Lloyds’ attorney, Doug Heuvel, expects more insurers to join the lawsuit.