Families of Two Workers Launch Independent Investigation into Fatal Fire

The fire occurred in the Thanksgiving Tower, a high-rise building in Dallas, Texas.

An attorney who represents relatives of two workers killed in last week's Thanksgiving Tower fire in downtown Dallas said his firm is launching an independent investigation to determine what could have caused the incident and whether the workers had adequate training to be at the job site, The Dallas Morning News reported.

"As you can imagine, it's been a very difficult time for these families to lose their husbands and fathers in this holiday season," Domingo Garcia, an attorney for the families of Nicacio Carrillo-Martinez and Oscar Esparza-Romo, said during a news conference. The newspaper reported that a former OSHA investigator has been hired to inspect the site of the fire on behalf of the families.

Three workers died in the fire, which began as they were working on a thermal storage tank that is part of the building's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. Witnesses said they saw an explosion, a ball of fire, and then a plume of smoke. Both Dallas Fire-Rescue and OSHA are investigating the incident. Last week, authorities said the three workers died of smoke inhalation while trapped in a "dilapidated," 35-foot-deep chiller tank.

A city official said it appeared that the workers did not follow proper safety procedures, nor did they have the proper permit to do work with a torch, although officials still haven't confirmed what started the fire.

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