Fire victims seeking damages for apartment explosion

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lawsuit has been filed against the owner of an apartment complex that exploded earlier this week. We've learned that this suit will not be the only one.

Briercroft Manor Apartments at the 1300 Block of 65th Drive went up in flames after a gas utility explosion Tuesday morning.

According to the lawsuit, Michael Mayo is seeking $50,000 in damages. He is suing Campbell Properties, the owner of the complex, for injuries, claiming that the explosion could have been prevented.

"I talked to people who said it was reported and the gas should have been turned off," Mayo's lawyer Tommy Turner said.

In the lawsuit, Mayo claims he was sleeping and was suddenly awakened by a boom. He says the ceiling fell on him, causing injuries to his left leg and body. And like many others, he lost everything.

"You've lost your television set, your pots and pans, and your jeans," Turner said.

Brian Greif says he is feeling the same pain and anguish and plans to file suit as well. He got out of the hospital on Wednesday.

"We do plan to join that because there was a long time-lapse from the time it was reported at 8:30 to the actual explosion at 9:15," Greif said.

Greif says he has trouble walking. He says he suffers from second degree burns on his feet and that this could have been prevented if there was a warning.

"You can basically see the raw skin underneath the feet - a bunch of dead skin and blisters," Greif said.

Greif says he and his fiance were lying in bed when the building started to collapse.

"The ceiling fell on top of the wall, stopping the wall from falling on top of us. We both got up and ran for our lives," he said.

He ran without shoes. He says it was a decision to save his life, but now it has kept him from work.

"We didn't have time to grab anything," Greif said.

The one thing keeping his spirits up is finding his dog, Andy. He says his dog jumped from the second story and ended up in the arms of a firefighter.

"We thought for sure he was going to die in the fire. We didn't have time to try and find him," Greif said.

Greif says luckily he has a place to stay with family.

We reached out to Chester Campbell, the owner of the apartment complex. He says he has been advised by his lawyer to not comment on the lawsuit.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.