Relatives of a man killed in a fire at a Rockport motel last December claim in a lawsuit that the motel’s owner turned off his businesses’ fire alarms 90 minutes before the fire started. Credit: Brent Schanding | BDN

Relatives of a man killed in a fire at a Rockport motel last December claim in a lawsuit that the motel’s owner turned off his businesses’ fire alarms 90 minutes before the fire started, Village Soup reported.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 18 in the Knox County courthouse by Theresa Deane and Keith Perkins, personal representatives of the estate of the late Kevin Stanley, against Scott Perry and Schooner Bay Motor Inn. Stanley, 53, died in the fire on Dec. 2, 2019, at the Route 1 inn.

Seven other motel rooms were occupied and no other motel guests were injured. Investigators said the fire was likely started by a cigarette that Stanley was smoking, a Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson said.

The fire gutted his room and heavily damaged two adjoining second-floor rooms as well as the roof of the motel, the spokesperson said. Stanley had lived at the motel for about a month. The motel had working smoke detectors which alerted other occupants. About a dozen occupants were displaced.

Village Soup reported that according to the lawsuit, Perry knew guests smoked cigarettes in their rooms. The lawsuit also alleges there was no sprinkler system or other fire suppression system in Stanley’s room, which was in the second floor.

The second-floor alarm first sounded at 2:02 a.m., according to the lawsuit. The alarm sounded again at 2:10 a.m., then 2:11 a.m., and Perry silenced them without investigating, the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit also claims that he shut off the fire alarm system from a remote control system at his residence several hundred yards away, Village Soup reported.

At 3:27 a.m., another inn guest called 911 after smelling smoke, according to the lawsuit. That is when the fire was detected, Village Soup reported.

Perry has also filed a lawsuit against Acadia Insurance Company, claiming it failed to pay him for lost business income. The company is fighting the lawsuit. A telephone message was left with attorney Robert Weaver, who is Perry’s lawyer in the lawsuit against the insurance company. Perry has not filed a response to the family’s lawsuit over the fatal fire, and no attorney is listed for him in that lawsuit, Village Soup reported.