A fire broke out at Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan Saturday, April 7, leaving one man dead and six firefighters injured. According to news report, the 67-year-old man who died was a resident of the building’s 50th floor. He was transported to an area hospital in critical condition and later died from his injuries. The victim was reportedly unconscious and unresponsive when firefighters pulled him out. The fire was contained to the tower’s 50th floor.
Six firefighters sustained injuries, but are expected to survive. Before the news of the death, President Donald Trump commended the firefighters and tweeted that the fire was out and “very confined” in the “well built building.” Officials said the building stood up quite well, but added that the upper-level residential floors in that building are not equipped with fire sprinklers.
Building Lacks Fire Sprinklers
This fire comes three months after another minor fire broke out in a cooling tower on the roof of the building. Two people were injured in that fire, which officials said was possibly caused by electrical heaters inside the cooling tower. The building is not legally required to have sprinklers. It was built in 1983, several years before the city mandated sprinkler systems in buildings.
Owners of older residential high-rises are required to add the systems, but only if major renovations take place. Safety advocates, back in the 1990s, wanted older apartment buildings to be retrofitted with sprinklers when the city began requiring them in new residential high-rises.
However, developers including Trump argued at the time that a vast majority of fatal fires occur in smaller multifamily homes, not high rises. Then-mayor Rudy Giuliani took the developers’ side, citing cost concerns. It is still not clear what caused Saturday’s fire at Trump Tower. The investigation is ongoing.
Sprinklers Save Lives
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), sprinklers have the potential to not just save residents’ lives, but also help reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities by 50 percent. The association estimates a 65 percent reduction in firefighter injuries per 1,000 home fires when sprinklers are present. The power of sprinklers in buildings is that they are ready to go 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to put out fires before they can become a threat to the home, residents and/or the firefighters.
The severity of injuries to residents and firefighters may also be significantly reduced with residential sprinkler systems. Even though they may cost apartment owners more, it is a small price to pay to safeguard lives, property and first responders who put their lives at risk every day to safeguard ours.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Fires have the potential to result in major, life-threatening injuries including smoke inhalation injuries and burn injuries. A vast majority of fatal injuries in residential fires tend to be smoke inhalation injuries. In any fire accident, it is important to determine the cause of the fire. Was it due to electrical failure? Did poor maintenance play a part? Did some type of equipment failure cause the incident? These are just a few questions to ask when it comes to determining the facts in these cases.
There are a number of parties that may be held liable for fire-related injuries and losses, depending on the nature and circumstances of the incident. If a property owner and/or property manager failed to maintain the premises, they may be held liable for the losses. If a fire was the result of a defective product such as a space heater, the manufacturer of the faulty heater may be held liable for the injuries and damages caused.
If a utility company and its workers failed to do their jobs properly, they may be held liable for any fires or explosions that occur due to their negligence. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire, 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 recovered $985,000 out of a $1,000,000 policy in a fire accident case where injuries etc. were sustained because the homeowner did not have smoke detectors installed in an apartment. One of our clients recovered $2,500,000 due to a faulty space heater.
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 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