SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A U.S. Air Force veteran who served during Vietnam was killed recently when the ceiling of his Citrus Heights apartment caved in on him.
Now, his daughter wants apartment management held accountable so it does not happen to anyone else. The Sacramento Bee first reported about the lawsuit against the Citrus Heights apartment on Friday morning.
“A huge loss. Still a huge loss. My dad and I talk every day. So he was always the person I told good news to. And now I’ve lost that,” said Danielle Fiddy.
Fiddy never expected to lose her father in such a way, during a severe storm in late October that brought heavy rain and high winds to the area.
“At arcade Creek Manor, Ronald Villa was killed when his ceiling collapsed on him. He’s a Vietnam veteran; he survived Vietnam only be killed by a ceiling that collapsed on him because the landlords, we believe, were not performing proper maintenance,” said family attorney Moseley Collins.
Fiddy said her father had been vocal about a leak in the ceiling prior to its collapse.
“When I got there, they had a dehumidifier and a fan set up to the ceiling and they would tell him ‘OK, well it’s just aesthetics. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. We’ll get to it, we’ll get to it.’ And they obviously never did; they never fixed it,” Fiddy said.
It’s not the first time a ceiling has collapsed at Arcade Creek Manor. Back in 2018, another apartment’s ceiling fell in too — Luckily, no one was hurt.
Fiddy said she went to check on her father that day after a call from his doctor about a missed appointment. She said she called Arcade Manor but that no one answered.
According to Fiddy, they called her minutes later saying he had died.
When she arrived, she said police told her it was from natural causes, a heart attack. She questioned it at first.
“I do feel like I’m being lied to in the situation very much,” Fiddy said. “She said this has been a problem apartment complex, and I just stood there and I just looked at her and said I’m not sure which part you mean. The part in which my dad died or the part in which he didn’t take care of it. And at that point, she just walked away. She said nothing to me. And I just thought that was really callous thing to say, that it’s a problem apartment.”
FOX40 reached out to Arcade Creek Manor but the person who answered the phone said they had no comment and could not transfer the call to someone who could provide a statement.
Fiddy said she wants to bring awareness so it does not happen to anyone else.
“If nothing else comes to this, if I save somebody else’s life from this, that’ll be more than for me. That’ll be gratitude enough for me,” Fiddy said.