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Panthers Coach Seeks Compensation for Fire

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) - Carolina Panthers Coach Ron Rivera, and his wife Stephanie sued the maker of a fireplace they claim was defective and caused a catastrophic fire in their home.

In a lawsuit filed in Mecklenburg County, the playoffs-bound coach claims a fireplace and chimney system manufactured and sold by Icerock Inc., Icerock LLC, Earth Core Industries Inc., and Isokern, was defective and, because of unclear instructions, installed improperly.

The fire broke out at about 4 a.m. on January 5, 2015, and Rivera says the blaze forced he, his wife, and two of his brothers and their wives to flee the burning home.

To make matters worse, one of Rivera's brothers was suffering from terminal cancer, the complaint says.

The fire destroyed much of the Riveras' home and their personal property, and the couple says repairing the damage cost them $1.8 million dollars. The Riveras also say because of the damage and subsequent repairs they were displaced from their home for more than six months.

The Charlotte Fire Department later concluded that the improper installation of the Riveras' modular fireplace or a material defect caused the fire.

The Riveras seek unspecified damages on claims of products liability, negligence, and willful or wanton negligence.

They are represented by Hunter Quick and H. Lee Falls III of Nexsen Pruet PLLC in Charlotte, N.C.

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