New developments in Marshall Square fire case; air conditioning company investigated

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – There are new developments in the Marshall Square fire investigation after Goodman Company, L.P., the air conditioning company for Marshal Square, is paying more than $5 million in fines to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That’s for failing to report hundreds of fires across the country.

Local attorney, Sam Nicholson, says this is a huge piece of newly discovered evidence and he plans on investigating the CPSC’s findings even further and eventually take Goodman Company, L.P. to a Columbia County courtroom.

It was a horrific scene from June of 2015. An early morning fire broke out at Marshall Square Retirement Facility in Evans. Fire and smoke filled the sky as Columbia County fire crews worked tirelessly to save lives while battling the flames. One person was injured, another died.

Attorney Sam Nicholson, who’s part of a lawsuit over that fire, says these are new developments he plans to use in his case.

“We’ve just learned that on September 8, a complaint was filed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission against Goodman Company, which was the manufacturer of the PTAC machine, which is believed to be the origin of the fire at Marshall Square,” said Nicholson.

Goodman Company has recently agreed to pay more than $5.5 million to the CPSC.

Court documents state Goodman Company L.P. failed to timely inform the CPSC of a fire risk posed by their air conditioning and heating units, many of which were installed in hotels, schools and hospitals. They were also installed  in the Marshall Square Retirement Resort.

“They’ve had fires in these types of units going back to 2008 and went years without reporting them, said Nicholson.

The chairman of the CPSC, Elliot Kaye, stated that Goodman’s conduct was illegal, dangerous and unacceptable.

Kaye also stated that the decision to hide information about serious fires for years, while continuing to profit from sales, put the safety of many families at risk.

“We’re going to get to the bottom as to where these fires got started in the PTAC unit and then take them to court and let a jury of Columbia County people decide what their responsibility is and whether or not they should be punished,” said Nicholson.

NewsChannel 6 did reach out to the public relations division of Goodman Company.

They have yet to get back to us.

WJBF will keep you updated.

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