Fire Alarm Safety – Lisa Sanders’s Story
In this Insider Exclusive Investigative Network TV Special, “FIRE ALARM SAFETY – Lisa Sanders’s Story”, our News team visits with Keith Fletcher, Ptr at Simmons and Fletcher, in Houston, Texas, who represented the Sanders family in the Jan 2, 2011 tragic death of Lisa Sanders, a beautiful mother of 3, and devoted wife of Tony Sanders.
We all go to bed at night with the reassurance that if a fire starts and smoke builds, we’ll be protected…especially if our home has a state of the art fire alarm system.
Unfortunately there can be a deadly difference in what home fire and burglary monitoring companies promise and what they deliver….And that difference can be fatal…. As was in the case of Lisa Sanders.
Lisa was a home health care aid, who took care of the elderly and sick folks in their homes. For several years, she took care of Evelyn Worthington, a wealthy divorcee, who was suffering from MS and wheelchair bound. Mrs. Worthington’s home was a Victorian mansion in the trendy, Heights Blvd area of Houston Texas.
She spared no expense in designing and building the house , including a state of the art fire alarm system, not only for her own peace of mind, but also for her extraordinary multi -million dollar doll collection.
On the night of Jan. 2, 2011, for reasons unknown, this magnificent mansion caught on fire and burned to the ground. The “State of the Art” fire alarm system never sent the “on fire” message to the monitoring company.
And the last recorded phone call from the house was a 911 call. Lisa Sanders apparently came down from her upstairs room, thru the smoke and fire, and attempted to rescue Mrs. Worthington. But the fire was so intense that it required 250 firefighters to subdue and the inferno caused the home – a two-story, 9,000-square-foot replica of a historic 1897 Queen Anne Victorian in Blacksburg, Va. – to collapse.
But tragically neither Lisa nor Mrs. Worthington made it out alive. The fire department’s dogs located Mrs. Worthington’s remains within a day or two.
It took longer to find Lisa. Based on the location of the bodies, Lisa died trying to get Mrs. Worthington into her wheelchair to escape the fire.
The Houston Fire Dept. was never able to determine the cause of the fire. So why didn’t the “money is no object, state of the art fire alarm system work?
And who’s responsible for this expensive system failing and needlessly taking the lives of two very much loved people?
That’s what this case was all about, and Keith Fletcher was determined to get to the truth and to get justice for Lisa Sanders and her family.
In this Special Edition of the Insider Exclusive, Keith Fletcher shares some very important discoveries that his firm made like:
The fire/security alarm system was installed by an unlicensed installer, recommended by the homebuilder. The State of Texas requires all fire/security alarm installers to be licensed.
When the installer installed the system, he notified the monitoring company dealer, Triangle, that the house needed remote monitoring.
Triangle selected Counterforce (a large, national monitoring company) to provide the off-premises monitoring services.
In the event of a fire, the home alarm system was supposed to send a signal to Counterforce, and they were supposed to immediately contact the fire department, and then the homeowner. Mrs. Worthington paid about $240/ year, in advance, for these monitoring services.
That never happened! No “test signals” were tested or send out monthly as required by Texas law. Counterforce never programmed the Worthington account to receive a monthly test signal.
Discovery revealed, much to everyone’s surprise, that Counterforce does not follow this law.
They claim that a homeowner has to pay extra for them to follow the law. They also claim that the law does not apply to them.
Thousands of counterforce residential accounts have been, and are still at risk every day, and have been for years. Tragically, nothing has been done by Counterforce to change their system and follow the law.
Counterforce claims on their public website that:
Counterforce has dedicated itself to one vision, “Securing Lives and Providing Peace of Mind”.
And “People and businesses everywhere trust our service and depend on our expertise to secure what is most valuable to them.”
“Since 1988, Counterforce has dedicated itself to providing high quality monitoring services to the families, homes and businesses that are entrusted to our care by the Independent Alarm Professionals who serve them.”
The change is an easy one to fix….. Just a few key strokes by Counterforces’ data entry persons. Already, Counterforce’s software provides such protection for commercial accounts, but they have to pay extra for the 24 hour test signal that is also required by law.
The law requires that communication be established and maintained between the home and the central monitoring station. And Homeowners are being lulled into a false sense of security when there is none. If the monitoring company does not look for the test signal and follow the law, there is nothing to protect homeowners from a communication failure between the home and the monitoring station.
This case was finally settled confidentially, and Keith Sanders will also discuss some of the Legal Strategies, obstacles and hurdles they had to overcome to get justice for the Sanders family.
Keith Fletcher has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Houston…. In Texas….. and across the United States
His goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…but to make sure that everyone is treated with equal respect and dignity as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States. He has built a substantial reputation by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down.
His amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.
For additional information please contact Keith Fletcher @ http://www.simmonsandfletcher.com/ or (713)932-0777