Second suit filed in hotel fire deaths

January 29, 2010 4:28:00 PM

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Another suit was filed Thursday in Jefferson County, Ala. Circuit Court alleging negligence in the death of a Mississippi University for Women freshman. 

 

The suit lists Sandra Townes, mother of Jamelia Brown, as the plaintiff. Brown, 18, of Grenada, was with three friends at the Days Inn in Hoover, Ala., when a fire began in a maintenance man''s room and engulfed the hotel, trapping and killing the MUW students. 

 

Jaslynn McGee, 19, of Corinth, and cousins, Catherine Ann Muse, and Alondan "Angel" Turner, both 18 and of Cordova, Ala., were also killed in the fire. 

 

Townes'' suit names the same defendants as a suit filed Monday by Turner and Muse''s parents: Papasha Inc., owners of the Days Inn; SPP Inc., operators of the Days Inn; Chris Parekh, one of the owners and the manager of the Days Inn; and maintenance man Dhirajlal Bhagat. 

 

McGee''s parents have expressed their intentions to file a similar suit. 

 

Bhagat, 55, of India, was reportedly burning incense on a prayer shrine in his room at the hotel. After leaving the room unattended for a half hour, he returned to find the room in flames. Bhagat unsuccessfully used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the fire himself without alerting hotel management or guests. 

 

Bhagat had been living and working at the hotel for "several years" despite the expiration of his visa.