Neighbors file lawsuit over smoke

By Stephen Betts | Feb 09, 2011

Appleton — An Appleton couple has filed a lawsuit against a neighbor, claiming smoke from his outdoor wood-burning furnace has disrupted their lives.

George and Brigitte Gefrich filed the complaint Feb. 4 in Knox County Superior Court against William Patten.

The Gefriches claim that the smoke from Patten's furnace floats across Route 131 and envelops their home on a regular basis.

"The result of the constant heavy smoke enveloping the Gefrich property is that the Gefriches have been made ill, their sleep has been compromised, their clothes, blankets, etc. smell like smoke and they generally are unable to reasonably enjoy their property," the complaint states.

The couple claims that Patten has admitted to burning waste oil in the wood-burning furnace, among other items. He uses the furnace throughout the year, including the summer.

The Gefriches stated they have asked Patten to take steps to remedy the discharge but that he has not done so.

The couple is asking the court to order Patten to cease and desist from using the furnace in the absence clear and effective modifications to it.

The couple is represented by attorney Patrick Mellor of Rockland.

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