Lawsuit blames vent fan maker for Worldwide Equipment fire

PRESTONSBURG – Nearly one year to the day after the Worldwide Equipment building burned to the ground in Prestonsburg, a lawsuit has been filed that points the blame to the company that installed the ventilation fans at the location.

In a lawsuit filed by the city of Pikeville Friday, city attorneys laid out a three-count suit against the company Broan-Nutone LLC.

According to the lawsuit, Broan-Nutone, a Wisconsin-based company that designs, manufacturers, sells, and helps with the installation of ventilation fans, is blamed on three counts – negligence, breach of warranties, and strict liability.

Outlining the events of July 2, 2014, the lawsuit says that a 2009 Mack truck owned by the city of Pikeville, was at Worldwide Equipment that morning to receive routine maintenance when it caught fire and burned. The fire spread and ultimately burned the entire building housing Worldwide Equipment, as well.

The lawsuit claims that the ventilation fan was purchased with installation instructions from Broan-Nutone and was installed in Prestonsburg on an unknown date, adding that this vent fan was the cause of the fire.

The suit asks for compensation to match the loss and a jury trial in the matter.

Ten fire departments responded to the fire nearly a year ago that destroyed the building that had housed the company since 1967. No one was injured during the fire.

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