AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - A fast moving fire in Amherst killed one student and displaced dozens two weeks ago, and now tenants displaced by that January 21 fire are being asked to sign a release form before they enter their apartments to retrieve personal belongings.
Danielle Gorczyca was one of the 30 people who was forced out of their home that morning. She and her two roommates have refused to sign the form.
Since the fire, she told 22News that she has had to buy clothes at the Salvation Army and has been staying at a hotel.
Gorczyca says that after seeking legal counsel, she discovered that the waiver releases the leasing agency from all responsibility relating to the fire.
She says considering the fire alarms didn't go off in her unit, the company should be held liable.
"They should be held accountable for our things. And so immediately we were just like, we are not signing this. And when we brought it to legal services, it was the first time legal services at UMass had seen it," Gorczca told 22News.
A spokesman for the company told 22News that the release only highlights the potential threat to the tenant's safety, given that there is no electricity in the affected units and parts of the building are not structurally safe. The spokesman says the release will not affect any future claims.