Ten people were injured in a multi-alarm fire that broke out inside a six-story apartment building in the Bronx the night of Oct. 4. According to an NBC New York news report, the fire started inside the apartment building located on Grand Concourse in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx. FDNY officials said the fire originated on the sixth floor and quickly spread to the roof of the building.
A total of 10 people were injured including one civilian and nine firefighters. None of the injuries is said to be life threatening. A number of residents told NBC that they smelled smoke allowing them to escape to safety. It’s not clear if the apartment building had working smoke alarms or smoke detectors. The investigation is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was injured in this fire.
What New York Law Says
According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s statistics, New York leads the country with 87 civilian fire deaths so far in 2019. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York says three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. According to the FDNY, nearly two-thirds of fires that claim lives in New York City involve apartments or homes where the smoke alarms or smoke detectors do not work.
New York State law requires all smoke detectors sold after April 1, 2019 to be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or hardwired to the home. Homeowners and landlords must upgrade their smoke detectors before selling or renting homes and apartments in New York State.
While these 10-year smoke detectors have a larger cost upfront compared with traditional alarms powered by replaceable batteries, not requiring annual battery changes makes them cheaper over the life of the device.
When it comes to protecting residents from burn injuries and smoke inhalation injuries, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers play a critical part. It is also important to note that more fatalities in residential fires occur due to smoke inhalation injuries rather than burn injuries.
New York City law requires the presence of working smoke detectors in every housing unit. The New York City Housing Maintenance Code requires property owners, landlords and/or property managers to provide, install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in each unit. Not only should these life-saving devices be present, but they should also be in good working order.
Premises Liability Issues
Property owners and/or property managers are responsible for maintaining their properties and ensuring that they are safe for tenants, visitors and guests. They must ensure that their buildings are maintained to code requirements and that the installed smoke alarms and sprinklers are in good working order.
When a fire accident is caused by negligence (carelessness) or a lack of property maintenance, property owners and/or property managers may be held liable for the injuries and loss of life that occurs. Injured victims or families of deceased victims can file a premises liability claim against the liable parties including, but not limited to, the landlord, property owner, property manager, etc.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well.
Compensation for NYC Fire Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a fire caused by a lack of working smoke detectors or sprinklers etc., the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our firm obtained a $985,000 settlement out of a $1 million policy for two people who suffered smoke inhalation injuries because the homeowner did not have smoke detectors installed and the $15,000 that was left on the insurance policy was for a person that we did not represent. One of our clients recovered $2,500,000 due to a faulty space heater. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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