Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family of burnt Clearwater girl sues landlord

Makeila Pressley suffered third-degree burns in the fire.

Makeila Pressley suffered third-degree burns in the fire.

CLEARWATER — The family of the 10-year-old girl who was severely burned in a Clearwater house fire is suing their landlord, saying a properly placed smoke alarm would have prevented her injuries.

Makeila Pressley suffered third-degree burns over half of her body on Feb. 23. Her mother alleges that Bernard Adragna did not put a smoke alarm close enough to the room where Makeila was sleeping in accordance with Florida building codes.

"That was a preventable injury," said Jawdet Rubaii, the Clearwater attorney representing the family. "There's no question that if there had been one in her room or it had been close to her room there would have been ample warning for her to get out."

He said Makeila's mother, Davana, heard a smoke alarm beep briefly but didn't notice anything unusual. Later, another relative heard the alarm and saw smoke pouring out of the bedroom where Makeila was sleeping.

Rubaii said the family wants to recover medical expenses and compensation for the girl's suffering.

Adragna, who owns the property at 916 Eldridge St., said he's not the bad guy. He said the house had two working smoke alarms, one about 12 feet from the room where Makeila was sleeping.

Clearwater Fire and Rescue determined the fire was caused by a cigarette thrown on a pile of clothes. The family strongly disputes that.

Family of burnt Clearwater girl sues landlord 09/18/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 20, 2008 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle