A 50-year-old man was killed and two others were injured in a fire that broke out in a Queens apartment with smoke alarms that didn’t work. According to NBC New York, flames broke out on the fifth floor of the residential building on Elmhurst Avenue early morning on July 29. Three people suffered smoke inhalation injuries and one of them was pronounced dead at the hospital.
A 30-year-old man was in critical condition and a 36-year-old woman was in stable condition, police said. Firefighters said they found two men unconscious in a bedroom and also rescued a woman who was trapped behind a child gate on the fifth floor window. FDNY officials said the building did not have any working smoke detectors. Officials said a power strip caused the fire. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased victim and wish the two injured victims the very best for a speedy and full recovery.
Why Smoke Alarms Are Critical
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.
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. When it comes to protecting residents from burn injuries and smoke inhalation injuries, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers play an important part. They save lives. It is an established fact that smoke inhalation injuries cause more fire-related deaths than burn injuries. Landlords, property owners and managing agents are required under New York City’s Housing Maintenance Code to provide, install and maintain smoke detecting devices in each unit.
Under New York City’s code, all smoke detectors must be of the type that emits an audible notification at the expiration of the useful life of the alarm. The American Red Cross states the fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms is 51 percent less than the rate for homes that lack such protection. So, having a working smoke alarm reduces the chance of death by fire or smoke inhalation by nearly half.
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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