The fire occurred on May 27, 2017 at the home of Gordon Gleich, located in the 23200 block of Strip Mine Road in Wilmington. The lawsuit states that the Morfoots were moving a generator and connecting it to an electrical supply at an auto body shop owned by the defendant at the same address.
A water heater and boiler were also in the same room as the generator, the lawsuit noted. Both items had gas-fired pilot lights.
As the Morfoots were moving the generator to connect it to the electrical supply, "a can of carburetor cleaner improperly placed on a shelf in a room with open pilot lights fell off the shelf onto the generator and split open," Morfoot's lawyers noted.
A fire broke out.
"The plaintiff, Richard Morfoot, suffered extensive and severe burns and smoke inhalation, causing hospitalizations [and] extensive medical bills and has become sick, sore and disabled," noted attorney Michael Gahan of the Joliet law firm of Kavanagh, Grumley & Gorbold.
The lawsuit also states that Shannon Crane Morfoot "suffered extensive and severe burns and smoke inhalation, causing hospitalizations ... Shannon Crane Morfoot moves this court for entry of a judgment in her favor and against the defendant, Gordon Gleich."
Besides "failing to warn the plaintiffs of the presence of flammable compressed liquids in a confined room with open pilot lights," Gleich "was otherwise careless and negligent in failing to provide a safe work environment for the plaintiffs," the plaintiffs' lawyers argue.