A New York State Fire Investigator walks into the house at 906 Myrtle Ave. in Watertown on Thursday morning, Feb. 14, 2019 where a fatal fire killed three of the six people inside just hours earlier. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The eldest daughter of a Watertown man who died along with four of his other daughters in a Feb. 14 fire on Myrtle Avenue has filed suit against the property owner claiming the house was not equipped with operable smoke detectors.

Kayla M. Babyak, a Sunny Hills, Fla., resident who is serving as the administrator of the estate of Aaron J. Bodah, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday at the Jefferson County clerk’s office against Viola E. Marcinkowski, Vienna, Va., the owner of 906 Myrtle Ave.

Mr. Bodah, 38, died in a fire at that residence along with his daughters Merissa, 14, Alexa, 8, Erin, 6, and Skylar, 4. A fifth daughter, Hailey, who was 13 at the time, escaped the blaze when her father sent her across the street to a neighbor’s house to get help. He then went upstairs to try to save the others.

Investigators blamed cooking on the stove as the fire’s cause. Fire officials subsequently said two smoke detectors in the home were inoperable because the batteries had been removed from the devices.

The lawsuit claims, among other things, that Ms. Marcinkowski and her property managers, identified in court documents as L&P Properties LLC, Watertown, and its agents, Lynn J. Macnay and Margaret M. Macnay, were negligent in their management and maintenance of the property and failed to comply with state Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Specifically, the suit states that the property “was without any functioning smoke detecting devices.”

The suit does not specify an amount being sought in damages. The estate is represented in the action by Baldwinsville attorney Matthew E. Ward.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(2) comments


If there's blame anywhere here...start with the father..who's sole purpose is to take care of his family...to protect his family at any cost..which unfortunately is what happened.... fire alarms in many areas are free...or certainly affordable...go buy them... don't wait on someone else to protect your kids... So sad..and preventable...


Notice he had smoke detectors but someone took the batteries out, want to bet who the someone was.

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