COLUMBIA- Mills Properties is now facing 19 lawsuits as a result of the Ash Street Apartments fire in April according to the plaintiff's lawyer Matt Uhrig.
Monday, Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler ordered a restraining order against Mills Properties that states they can not destroy or remove any belongings from the apartment according to Mills spokesperson Mark Farnen.
Uhrig said his clients are seeking punitive damages.
Uhrig said his clients are upset Mills is not allowing them to retrieve their items from the units affected by the fire.
However, Farnen, said Mills only has the safety of its tenants in mind.
The fire caused damages in areas of the apartment building known to have asbestos. Farnen said Mills can not release belongings until they know for sure if the items are contaminated.
Farnen later noted Mill Properties is only aware of 17 tenants among 12 different apartment units that have filed suit against the company.