Family begins own investigation after apartment fire death

Family begins own investigation after apartment fire death

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A mother and father are starting their own investigation into the death of their son in an Albany apartment fire Saturday.

They brought in an Atlanta attorney to lead a probe into the death of 27-year old Joshua Bateman.

As a 27-year-old Navy veteran, Bateman worked for Apple Computers in technical support. He was killed when his home at Windover Apartment went up in flames Saturday morning.

Food left cooking unattended on the stove was the fire department's cause of the fatal blaze.

The family says they have concerns about that stove.

"There have been complaints about the stove smoking when it's used.." said Bateman family attorney Yehuda Smolar, "we need to come to the bottom of what happened here."

The family arranged an in depth independent investigation into the death.

"We have doubts," said Jasper Bateman. "I'm not sure how it happened. But I would like to know."

Madella Bateman used that stove, and said smoke poured out of it.

"There was a lot of smoke in the apartment, but the fire alarm did not go off and stuff. I know that stove was in a mess, because I had tried to cook on it, and I couldn't cook on it either," said Bateman.

The Bateman's said Joshua complained to the apartment landlord, and the complaints were ignored.

But on Wednesday, the landlord said Bateman never complained about any appliances or the smoke alarm.

Now they want an independent investigation, but say it's not about suing or trying for money.  They say they want to make sure no one else dies in a fire.

"I don't want nobody else to go through a situation that we are going through.  By not having the equipment in the apartment that they really need to survive by."

Smolar says he will bring in electrical engineers and other experts in his investigation, to get to the truth of the fatal fire, and the death of Joshua Bateman.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.