The family of a 7-year-old boy who died in an East Dallas apartment fire said they are devastated and heartbroken.
The fire occurred on Wednesday at the Solana Ridge Apartments located in the 8000 block of Chariot Drive. Fabian Pena, 7, passed away on Thursday.
"We really thought he was going to wake up, but he didn't. It just kept getting worse by the minute," said Veronica Gavia, Pena's cousin. "It's just unreal. We wake up and we don't want to believe it."
Pena's mother told investigators she could smell the odor of gas inside her apartment before the fire started.
Witnesses also reported hearing at least one explosion before the fire.
Atmos Energy checked the natural gas system and maintains the area is safe.
The family has hired an attorney.
Published at 12:03 AM CDT on Aug 21, 2016
There are several factors that will contribute to a civil liability case in this fact scenario. Attorneys will have to examine apartment maintanence to see if there were things like working fire alarms that could have warned the family of a fire before it was too late. Also, gas leaks in the apartment complex could be compelling evidence of negligence on the part of the gas and electric company, the apartment complex, or both. This is a terrible situation for the family of the boy who lost his life. We are glad that they have retained counsel to fight for their rights.