Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 30

Fire and police officials
investigate a June 12 blaze that
killed three service employees
and seriously injured two others
at the Carl Cannon dealership in
Jasper, Ala.

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

FATAL FIRE

victims' families sue dealer, vendors
ERIC FREEDMAN

A

foj@autonews.com

flash fire that killed three service employees at a Jasper, Ala., dealership is under investigation by the state Fire Marshal's Office and
the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The fire broke out June 12 in an oil change service pit at
Carl Cannon Chevrolet-Cadillac-Buick-GMC, causing the deaths of
technicians Jake Jennings, 39, Javan Robinson, 20, and Zack Davis, 20.
Two other employees were injured.
"It's still under investigation," Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen told Fixed
Ops Journal. "You can imagine, with ... injuries and three fire-related
deaths, we're taking our time to cover everything."
Pilgreen said his office has investigated flash fires before but none in a
service pit. Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of each of the victims.
Curt Ballard, dealership controller, declined to discuss the fire or litigation.

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PAGE 30

AUGUST 2017

DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE/RON HARRIS

 3 service techs die in flash blaze;

Jennings' family was the
first to file suit. That case
seeks workers' compensation benefits from the dealership and damages, alleging negligence and breach
of warranty by four suppliers: Unilube Systems, Hessaire Products Inc., Flynn
Distributing Co. and Wurth
USA Inc.
At the time of the fire,
Jennings was operating the Unilube system and oil change center, the
suit claims. According to their websites, Unilube Systems supplies
equipment to oil change facilities, Hessaire Products sells portable
cooling equipment, Flynn Distributing is a chemicals wholesaler and
Wurth USA sells body shop supplies.
Their products and equipment, the lawsuit alleges, "were not reasonably safe when being used in a foreseeable manner but, to the contrary,
were defective and unreasonably dangerous."
The Jennings lawsuit claims the fire erupted "when a flammable substance ignited." The office of the Birmingham, Ala., lawyer handling the
suit, G. Whit Drake, said it could not discuss the case because of the
OSHA review. The office said it was unaware of any similar flash fires.
Steve Burford, a Birmingham lawyer who represents Flynn Distributing, said the only product his client supplied to the dealership that was
used in the service pit was a water-based degreaser. "It's not flammable," Burford said.
Unilube lawyer Kile Turner of Birmingham said the company has denied liability. "I'm very confident this doesn't involve a Unilube product.
There's no way we could have caused this fire," he told Fixed Ops Journal.
Hessaire and Wurth USA did not respond to requests for comment. 


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017
Contents
Need a lift
Tire track
Mobility devices
Times to recall
Slick trick
Fatal fire
Players club
Online parts
Lean inventory
Loyalty test
Patent pending
Open minded
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Richard Truett
Feedback
Five Minutes With
Letters
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Need a lift
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Tire track
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Mobility devices
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Times to recall
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Slick trick
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fatal fire
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Players club
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Online parts
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Lean inventory
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 37
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Loyalty test
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Patent pending
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Open minded
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - August 2017 - Cover4
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