Landlords are sued following SF house explosion


The family who survived the deadly house explosion in San Francisco’s Sunset District is taking its next-door neighbor’s landlords to court.

The plaintiffs, David Garth and Phoutthasone Phommavongsay, who goes by Nang, are suing the 1734 22nd Ave. property owners and accusing them of negligence, a recent complaint filed with the San Francisco Superior Court shows.  

The suit claims that the landlords — Peter and Diane De Martini — knew that their tenant, Darron Price, was using the house as “a factory for his illegal hash oil fabrication business.” According to the Department of Justice, hash oil is a Schedule I substance that’s produced by extracting cannabinoids from plants with solvent. 

The plaintiffs allege that the home’s basement was filled with butane tanks that posed an immediate threat to the surrounding community, yet property owners failed to take action to prevent the deadly Feb. 9 explosion that killed Darron’s wife, Rita Price, and severely injured her caretaker.  

The blast at 22nd Avenue was so powerful, it immediately leveled the building before erupting in a fiery blaze that wrecked nearby homes, including Garth and Nang’s, the suit reads. As a result, they were “forced to watch from a distance as the life they had built slowly burned away.” By the time it was over, the massive fire had incinerated priceless belongings, like family heirlooms, photographs and antique Jewish art. 

In the aftermath of the explosion, Garth told SFGATE that he and his family probably would have died if they hadn’t serendipitously left the house just minutes earlier. “We were just happy to be safe,” he said, adding that he felt sorry for Price, who probably hadn’t intended to hurt anybody.  

Regardless, the suit claims that the disaster completely upended their lives; they’ve lost most of their belongings and have been forced to relocate after nearly a decade of residing in the Sunset. The plaintiffs argue that tragedy could have been avoided if the landlords had taken control of the situation earlier. According to the legal document, multiple signs pointed to the danger ahead. 

Even though Price paid for six months of rent in cash before moving in, the landlords didn’t question him, the suit claims. Shortly after, he allegedly started hauling large chemical tanks into the house for his clandestine hash oil business. In the complaint, Nang said that it often smelled “like skunk” or “like gas leaking.” One of the landlords frequently visited Price in 2021 but somehow ignored the “obviously dangerous” sprawling drug operation. A redacted report from the San Francisco Fire Department indicates that “ignitable vapors” came into contact with a clothes dryer, ultimately causing the explosive fire in the garage, where Price spent long days and left at odd hours. The blaze caused millions of dollars’ worth in damages, the SFFD report shows.  

“The place you choose to live should be your sanctuary,” David Hollenberg, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told SFGATE. “The last thing people imagine is having a ticking time bomb next door in a quiet neighborhood. We can’t allow this to happen again.” 


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Swift Telecast is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment