Florida Department and Chief Sued Over Hotel Closure

A Florida fire department and fire chief are being sued by the owner of a hotel that was ordered closed due to fire code violations.

Kenilworth Properties, owner of the Kenilworth Hotel, is suing the City of Sebring, Sebring Fire Chief Brad Batz and C-T Protection Inc. The suit challenges the city’s decision to close the hotel and accuses  C-T Protection with doing unnecessary work and failing to issue an engineering report.

The suit was filed in Lee County Circuit Court alleges that Chief Batz initially agreed to allow Kenilworth to post a fire watch in lieu of a functioning fire alarm system, but changed his mind. HighlandsToday.com quoted the complaint as alleging: “Rather than allow Kenilworth a reasonable time to implement the fire alarm system implement alternative measures to provide warning systems while the fire alarm system was installed, Batz closed down the whole hotel.”

Kenilworth accuses Chief Batz of negligence and claims he made slanderous comments about the condition of the hotel. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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