An Irving Man's Disastrous Attempt to Cook K2 Burned Down His Apartment Complex. Now, His Neighbors Are Suing.

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Judging from some pretty spectacular video clips and photos, it's little short of a miracle no one was killed in the December 3 fire that destroyed The Arbors of Las Colinas apartment complex in Irving. As it was, only one resident was taken to the hospital after falling from a third-story window, while 56 people lost their homes and everything in them. Total losses were estimated at $1.2 million.

It didn't take investigators all that long to determine that the fire had started in Apartment 1024, nor did it take them long to get a confession from Mohsin Zia, the 24-year-old man who lived there. He'd been trying to make K2, he told them, an illegal type of synthetic marijuana. Problem was, he wasn't a very skilled cook.

Zia, according to court documents, looked up instructions on the Internet and began mixing the marshmallow leaf, acetone, and watermelon-flavor concentrate. He'd only just begun when, apparently due to carelessness and general stupidity, a lit piece of quick-igniting coal landed in the mixture.

The acetone did what acetone does and ignited in spectacular fashion, first engulfing Zia, who suffered second- and third-degree burns, then the apartment, then the entire complex. He was charged the next month with two counts of arson. His criminal case is ongoing.

Meanwhile, two of his neighbors, Oliver Medina and Richard Simpson, have filed a lawsuit. They might have sued Zia, but attorney Thomas Shaw writes in the petition that Zia is "judgment-proof," which is legal speak for "absolutely broke." Instead, they're targeting the apartment complex, saying it never should have let Zia live there.

According to the lawsuit, lease agreements at The Arbors of Las Colinas required tenants to have a $100,000 in liability coverage. Medina and Simpson had such liability policies, but Zia, they allege, let his lapse. So, when the fire came through, they were out of luck. They say it was the apartment's job to make him carry the insurance or kick him out.

How much they would have gotten from Zia if he hadn't let his policy lapse is unclear, but it couldn't have been much. Divide $100,000 by 56 people who lost everything, and what's left is a pittance.

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12 comments
Craig Monroe
Craig Monroe

And they win the lawsuit but the man owns nothing they can take possession of...

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Marinol and K2 both suck.

Why would someone want synthetic when u can get the real stuff?

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Another reason to legalize drugs.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

ApartmenRatings.com has some extremely unflattering reviews of this complex.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo let muh bro go; he’s just be ah unlicensed pharmacist.

dawyv
dawyv

Great, that's all we need is apartment complexes not only pushing the horrible, overpriced renters' insurance from some shady C- rated company as "mandatory" (and burying in the fine print the language that Texas law does not require you to buy from any company being advertised by the apartment owner), then turning around and kicking people out when something inevitably goes wrong with that oh-so-impressive policy.  Or, even better, just continually jacking up the liability requirements ("oh, sure, you can move in but you have to show proof of a $1,000,000 umbrella policy when you pick up your keys") to insane levels.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

feel bad for everyone who got screwed but thats one of MANY reasons apartments suck.

monstruss
monstruss

Man Fries in Fake Bake Accident. Film at 11.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Yeah...did you read the one about lady with 6 cats?

anon
anon

@dawyv only an idiot would go with the company recommended by the apartment complex, which would clearly be receiving kickbacks or commission sharing that would drive up the cost. in the age of the internet, there is no excuse for overpaying for a basic kind of insurance such as renter's insurance, auto, basic life, or umbrella. I think it's administratively unrealistic to require your tenants to prove that they've paid their premiums, but there is a pretty simple process by which your apartment complex can basically let the insurance company know that being insured is a condition of your rental agreement and that they should be informed of a lapse in covered status. this is the reason that your mortgage company knows almost immediately if you don't pay your homeowner's insurance. the insurance company is required to inform them.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

My $15 a month is worth the prices of foolish neighbors.

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