Six hour fire occurred in 2002. Self storage owner (who had roofing work using hot work performed on her personal residence), contracted with same roofing contractor to conduct Major (according to fire officials) renovation using acetylene torches while the roofing contractor was absent from the premises the entire day.
No notice of any renovation, (let alone the use of acetylene torches) was provided to 150 tenants. After contracting in April 2001 for the roofing work, self-storage owner took out $250, 000 additional insurance with Republic Western Insurance for "Customer Goods" liability. That meant that "customer goods" would have to be on the premises in order for self storage owner to receive the insurance proceeds. Self storage owner ensure (by failure to notify) that all 150 tenants had possessions on the premises the day of the 6 hour fire. No one had removed a thing because they were never notified of "major" renovation with the use of acetylene torches.
Evidence indicates that there was another storage facility ten (10) minutes away to which I co uld have relocated antiques and other possessions.
The roofing contractor violated California law as an employer of workers using acetylene torches on the all wood-shingled roof of a Storage facility -- who was absent the entire day from the facility.
The conduct of Joshua Victor of J. Victor Roofing, Inc. of San Diego and Josie Miller of SS Mini Storage is borderline criminal conduct at worst and gross negligence at best. Notwithstanding, they insist for nearly 5 years that I agreed to accept $500 for ordinary negligence. Ordinary? This is gross negligence at its best -- at best.
Curiously, the persons burned out the most from the geographically, isolated, sparsely occupied facility were persons such as I who worked outside the county with an expectation of returning. When out eyes were turned away, the unthinkable happened.
A trial date has been set in the case.