At least seven people, including five firefighters, an EMS worker and one civilian, were injured in a five-alarm fire at a Bronx supermarket in the Tremont section of the borough the morning of March 5. According to a report on AMNY.com, the massive blaze broke out at a supermarket located at 2096 Grand Concourse.
Danger of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Firefighters arrived at the scene to find lithium-ion batteries in flames from several electric bikes parked at the location. According to FDNY officials, the fire was ignited by a lithium-ion battery inside a scooter that was kept in the back of the store. Firefighters were hindered by a double roof, part of which eventually caved in. Firefighters working inside the building were evacuated as were residents of nearby apartments who fled outside with their children and pets, based on the report.
The FDNY also released a video in which a scooter is seen bursting into a ball of flames, a sight Mayor Eric Adams called “chilling.” He said the video gave him pause, as he saw how quickly this fire started and spread. FDNY Commissioner Lara Kavanagh said one single battery caused so much devastation.
Since 2022, investigations show that there have been more than 200 fires relating to dangerous devices. Kavanagh said more than 400 fires have been caused by lithium-ion batteries in New York City in the last four years. These fires, she said, start in an instant, grow quickly and give people little time to escape, consuming everything in their path. They are also very difficult to extinguish, she said.
In 2022 alone, six people have been killed in these types of fires and 139 have been injured. Fire officials say these fires often come without warning and they burn with such intensity that they spread quickly causing serious damage. The City Council is getting ready to vet several proposed bills that will prohibit the sale of batteries without safety certification, prevent the sale of used or damaged batteries, increase oversight of these devices and require FDNY to publish more information about fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.
Property Owners’ Responsibilities
New York City laws require property owners and/or property managers to maintain spaces that are safe for tenants, visitors and guests. Property owners/managers are required to provide, install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in each unit. The devices should also be maintained and remain in good working order.
When a fire or accident at a building is caused by negligence (carelessness) or a lack of property maintenance, the 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 responsible parties including, but not limited to, the property owner, property manager, maintenance/repair company, etc.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income and benefits, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones can seek compensation as well by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Whether you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit (NYCHA) (the Projects), please remember that you have legal rights. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of dangerous conditions, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys with 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. For over 51 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of winning compensation for injured victims. One of our clients — a hot water burn victim — secured $750,000 in damages from the property owner and manager.
Our firm also 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. Another of our clients recovered $2,500,000 in a case involving 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, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy 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