Travis Holley said, "Its hard to imagine a person being in a chair as it was on fire, its horrible."
Now her only son is suing the chair manufacturer. They are keeping the chair stored in a temperature controlled warehouse until they can take it apart and examine it. Holley says they are also filing suit against the bond house apartment building.
"While the fire may have been caused by the wheelchair, we believe that Ms. Ellis would have survived but for the defects in the building itself," said Holley.
These are pictures from an inspection of Ellis' room after the fire. Holley says the smoke detector was only ten inches from an air vent and it should have been at least 3 feet away.
Holley said, "Obviously if there is fresh air blowing across the smoke detection system, it's not going to pick of the smoke."
The state fire marshal has confirmed that the sprinkler system did not go off, although Ellis was found very close to one. Holley says these defects gave the fire and smoke time to spread.
Holley said, "The fire was allowed to progress to a substantial state and as a result there was a lot of smoke in the building before people knew there was a fire and they had to leave the building through the smoke."
Holley is representing more than a dozen bond house residents who say they have suffered from pneumonia and other side effects resulting from smoke inhalation from that night. The fire marshal's office says the bond house does not meet the appropriate building codes for its elderly population. And Bastrop fire fighters will remain on fire watch until they get up to code.