Defendants named in the complaint are the developer, O'NeillProperties Group of King of Prussia and its subsidiary, MerionConstruction; L21 Construction Managers in Leesport, PA.; andBozutto Corp. in Greenbelt, MD. O'Neill and Bozutto did not returncalls in time for publication. L21 could not be reached forcomment. The Philadelphia firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett &Bendesky PC, is representing the plaintiffs. A call was notreturned to GlobeSt.com from the firm.

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Two of the buildings within the complex were completelydestroyed by the fire, which required some 300 firefighters to getunder control. Residents in the buildings that were spared theflames have since been allowed to return. The Montgomery CountyDistrict Attorney has revealed that the fire was accidental,started by a construction worker's torch in the Stables atMillennium apartment building under development at the complex.

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In prepared statements Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendeskymaintain that initial reports about the fire suggest it could havebeen prevented. According to the complaint, the Stables project waswood-frame construction that didn't have any fire protectionmeasures, including a functioning automatic sprinkler system.

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The law firm intends to focus on the relationship between thedeveloper, O'Neill Properties, and the general contractor, MerionConstruction, Robert Mongeluzzi says in a prepared statement. "Itis the role of the GC to act independently to ensure the safety ofthe construction site. However, in this case Merion is a whollyowned subsidiary of O'Neill Properties."

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Meanwhile, the tenants from the complex have formed anassociation to advocate for their interests. This group, called theRiverwalk Tenants Network, is not related to the lawsuit, aspokesman tells GlobeSt.com. Rather, it has established an onlineforum on Facebook to help tenants find new living quarters andotherwise provide guidance to the process of restarting theirlives. The group also formed to keep the tight knit community ofapartment dwellers together as much as possible. "At least half adozen former tenants have left the community already," thespokesman says.

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