A New Year’s Day fire in East Elmhurst left a 7-year-old boy dead and his older brother with burn injuries. The Queens Courier reports that the fire broke out at a home on 90th Street near 31st Avenue. Sparks from a fireplace ignited nearby blankets and pillows before spreading to the furniture. The blaze was brought under control about an hour later. FDNY officials said the fireplace did not have a spark screen and that there were no working smoke detectors in the house.
The 7-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene while the 13-year-old, the victim’s older brother, was transported to a local hospital with second-degree burns. He is said to be in stable condition. One adult family member suffered smoke inhalation injuries in the fire. Three firefighters also suffered relatively minor injuries, officials said.
Residential Fire Statistics
There were 2,855 fatalities and 16,500 injuries as a result of building fires in 2012, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A majority of the injuries and fatalities – 13,175 injuries and 2,405 fatalities – occurred in residential fires.
Preventing Fireplace Fires
More than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. Heating fire-related accidents account for 36 percent of residential home fires each year. With extreme winter weather and freezing temperatures in many parts of the country this season, it is important that we take measures to ensure our homes are being heated safely:
• Never leave flammable materials near your fireplace.
• Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.
• Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
• Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester.
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long life smoke alarms.
• Provide proper venting systems for all heating equipment.
Filing a Premises Liability Claim
If the fire was caused by poor maintenance on the part of the property owner, you, as the tenant have legal rights. Injured victims and families of deceased victims can file a premises liability claim against the property owner and/or manager. Property owners and managers are also responsible for making sure that their properties are equipped with fire alarm systems, sprinklers and smoke detectors and that they are all maintained in good working condition.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our law firm recovered $985,000 out of a one million insurance policy for victims of a fire.
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 cases in 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
Source: Queens Courier
If you found this article useful, please share it!