The father of the six-year-old girl killed in a house fire on Campbell Ave., in Yorkville, in January, has filed a notice of claim against the village and its volunteer hose company. Attorney David Longeretta says if a different dispatch call had been made, perhaps Taylor Mishlanie and her mother, Heather Mishlanie, would still be alive.
"We show that the call actually came in at approximately 8:50 on January 18th and it doesn't appear that anybody entered the premises until about 18 minutes thereafter so this fire was burning after the first caller had called in for a good 18-19 minutes before anybody entered," said Longeretta, adding that that time would have likely been significantly shorter if the manned Utica Fire Department had been called to the scene. "Utica is a fully staffed, fully equipped accredited fire department that is less than 2 miles away from this fire site and they were never called to come in to assist and they could been there probably within a minute, minute and a half of the first call coming in and potentially saved these lives"
Longeretta says a policy that most other volunteer departments follow but Yorkville lacks, might have made for a different outcome.
"They have what they call first call lists with many of the municipalities within the county. What they do is they will call, and they have this hit list, they will call who's on that list. Utica is not on the list for the Yorkville Village or the Village of Yorkville Volunteer Fire Company," said Longeretta. "From the information I've received pursuant to the order, every other municipality that has a volunteer fire company has on their first call list the city of Utica because they are fully manned. The only one I've discovered this far that does not have it is in fact Yorkville and Yorkville Fire Department."
The notice of claim is the first step in the legal process, and puts the village and its fire department on notice as to the possibility of a lawsuit. Settlement talks may occur, and if there's no settlement, a lawsuit may be filed. Longeretta says his client, Christopher Mishlanie, seeks a change in policy and yet-to-be-determined monetary damages.
The Yorkville Fire Chief didn't return a call.