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Deadly warehouse fire ignited by fireworks ‘testing,’ new lawsuit claims

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — After six months of relative silence, a new legal filing shed some light on what caused a warehouse fire that killed four people in Orange County in early December.

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The Central Florida Parkway fire ignited suddenly overnight in what was supposed to be a furniture warehouse.

However, in the days after the fire, officials revealed the building was leased by Magic in the Sky, a Texas-based fireworks supplier that was using the site to store and ship fireworks to SeaWorld.

The new lawsuit, filed by the property’s landlord, doubles down on his previous claim that he had no idea fireworks were being stored on the site. The documents point to the lease for the property, which forbid fireworks and other explosives from being stored on property.

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The landlord’s filing said he leased the space for corporate office use approximately a year before the fire.

“In material breach of the Lease, Tenant failed to disclose the presence of fireworks and continued to store fireworks on the Premises,” the lawsuit reported, amid other violations.

The documents also claimed the fire was caused by a firework igniting as employees tested them, though it didn’t go into further detail about what sort of testing was being done, or why.

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“Tenant carelessly and negligently discharged the fireworks in such a manner and direction that the burning fragments would and did ignite the Premises,” the documents said.

The lawsuit joins filings from attorneys of the four victims’ families, as well as a fifth woman who was injured but survived.

They collectively claimed the workers were young and had backgrounds in the food service industry, and weren’t properly trained or equipped to be handling explosives.

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Many details of the fire have still not been revealed. Both state and federal investigators have remained tight-lipped about what they’ve found, and if any of their findings could translate into additional administrative, civil or criminal actions.

When reached by phone Tuesday, Magic in the Sky’s president chose to not comment on the lawsuit’s accusations.

An insurance company for one wing of his business has already placed $10 million into the pool for victims’ compensation, documents show.

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