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Families of SIUE fire victims produce safety video for students

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EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI) - It’s a video designed to prevent another college tragedy.  The families of 2 Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville students killed in a 2012 apartment fire believe the powerful video will save lives.

Laruen Peterson, 19, and Lacy Siddall, 21 died in an off campus apartment fire on April 22nd, 2012.  The attorney representing their families says the girls’ parents wanted to produce a video that could help prevent a future tragedy.

“They were very determined,” said Ted Gianaris, Simmons Hanly Conroy Law Firm.  “It was the next chapter so that they could make sure that their daughters were honored, and that they didn’t die in vain.

Gianaris says the video will be shown on closed circuit monitors on some 200 college campuses.   He says the families are also working to partner with agencies focused on fire safety.

Gianaris says there was never a definitive cause for the fire that took the girls’ lives, but says his law firm was successful in representing the families.  He says the landlord did not provide adequate smoke detectors.  He says Lauren and Lacy’s families used proceeds from their litigation to create the video.  The families released the following statement.

“If this video can prevent other families from experiencing the unspeakable grief of losing cherished loved ones to a preventable danger like an off-campus apartment fire, then that will allow some good to come from tragedy.  We hope Lacy and Lauren’s story will educate landlords, students and even parents about fire prevention for college students living in both on-campus and off-campus housing.”