Saturday will be the one year anniversary of the Marco Polo high rise fire that killed four people.

Marilyn Van Gibson, Joann Kuwata, Jean Dilley and her son Britt Reller.

"We just committed the ashes of my brother and mother to the family cemetery in Minnesota that brought a certain amount of closure," Rev. Philip Reller, relative of fire victims said. 

Family members still struggle with the haunting memories of their loved ones in their final moments.

"When those memories come of their last half hour of life, I actually saw Marilyn, Mrs. Van Gieson coughing and wheezing trying to get breath... Those memories aren't going to go away, the sadness isn't going to go away but we can do something so this doesn't happen to other families," Reller said. 

The building remains visibly scarred from the inferno, but relatives of the four victims have joined together to heal, hold someone accountable and prevent future tragedies from happening. 

"The family has created the Kokua Community Foundation for fire safety and recovery. They have filed a lawsuit to help make sure the kind of greedy choices made at the Marco Polo are never made again," Woody Soldner, attorney said. 

Following the fire, much of the focus centered on the building's lack of fire sprinklers. But the lawsuit alleges there were many other problems allowed by the condo association and property managers.

"This condo association knew over and over they needed to do something to upgrade basic safety systems," Terrence Revere, attorney said. 

"The fire doors were allowed to be propped open or with louvered doors, which allowed the effectiveness of the fire doors to fail," Mark Davis, attorney said. 
The lawsuit alleges the fire alarm system was antiquated, didn't alert the fire department and many residents couldn't hear it. 

It also claims the condo association and property management were aware of the hazards, but kept residents in the dark to the dangers as a way to save money. Even after three previous fires at the building over the seven years before the deadly 2017 inferno. 

"The last fire that happened at Marco Polo was not declared or disclosed to my brother or mother when they became tenants there," Reller said.

"We want their deaths to stand for something much more important than they were the victims of a tragedy, we want condo boards to think instead of assessments and budgets, they will think Marco Polo," Davis said. 

Attorneys say some of the money received from the lawsuit would go toward the non-profit fire safety and recovery foundation. That money could then be used to help building residents still in need of assistance, as well as assist disabled, elderly or low income residents with fire safety devices. 

The goal is to also provide more education so people understand the risks and prepare better for a fire.  

Families of Marco Polo fire victims file a lawsuit against management company, details on the suit next