Kansas family sues neighbors over death after fire

(Media General photo)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) – A Reno County family is suing their neighbors, contending that a March 2015 wildfire contributed to a family member’s death.

Cynthia Stohr and her children filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Peter and Shawnee Scharer and a caretaker on their property, David Farris.

The Hutchinson News reports the Stohrs claim 60-year-old Ernest Stohr, who was confined to a wheelchair, died from complications of smoke inhalation he suffered in the March 16 fire.

The lawsuit contends Farris started a fire on the Scharer property even though the county was under a warning for extreme fire danger.

The family contends Farris didn’t follow county rules on rural fires and the Scharers were negligent in hiring and supervising Farris.

Peter Scharer declined comment on the lawsuit.