The woman’s boyfriend, Khek Chanthalavong, had been using a blowtorch to remove fur from the squirrel on a wooden deck. Owners of the complex claimed cooking a squirrel on the deck violated her rental agreement.
Even though her boyfriend caused the fire, Pellow is still liable under a lease agreement for what justices described as a “fur-burning escapade.”
“Because defendant signed the lease agreement, she is presumed to have read and understood its contents,” the three-judge panel wrote.
Dozens of people at ClearView Apartments in Holland Township lost everything in the fire. Insurance carrier Travelers Indemnity Co. paid out more than $2 million to repair the damage.
The boyfriend left the torch on the deck and went into the apartment. When he returned 15 minutes later, he discovered the fire.