Lawsuit filed over fire at Lakeview: Who gets the insurance money?

Lakeview Motel Fire

A lawsuit was filed this week in Grundy County Circuit Court stemming from a fire May 20 that destroyed the biggest portion of the Lakeview Inn.

The insurance company is asking the court to determine the rightful payee of insurance proceeds because of the business fire.

Online court information shows Cincinnati Insurance Company filed a petition against the owner of the business, John Lee, as well as others and the city of Trenton.

Besides the city, defendants are listed as Lee doing business as Lakeview Inn and Cafe plus Lakeview Enterprises: Ian and Ali Gray; Colin and Nora Withers.

No date is listed for the case to come before Circuit Court Judge Jack Peace.

City Administrator Ron Urton Junior explained the city was named because it has an ordinance that says when a structure fire occurs, the city gets 25% of the insured value which is then held in an interest-earning account until such time as fire debris has been cleaned up or the issues of concern have been resolved. Once the city is satisfied with abatement, that money plus interest is given to the property owner.

None of the debris has been removed out at the site of the Lakeview fire.

Trenton’s Fire Chief Brandon Gibler says he’s still waiting on a preliminary report from a state fire marshal investigator that may or may not list the suspected origin and/or cause of the fire.

The insurance company also has its own fire investigator who looks at the site, sifting through debris, which Gibler called a standard procedure with any
structure fire.

Gibler added he’ll let KTTN know once he receives the Fire Marshal’s report on the Lakeview fire that happened more than seven weeks ago.