Manhattan Apartment Building Fire Leaves Man Dead and Elderly Woman Critically Injured

A man sustained fatal injuries and his elderly mother was sent to the hospital in critical condition after a fire erupted inside their Inwood apartment the morning of Dec. 21. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the fire started on the second floor of the Seaman Avenue tower near Academy Street. Medics rushed the 51-year-old man and his 86-year-old mother to a local hospital. The man succumbed to his injuries and his mother remained in critical condition.

A neighbor saw paramedics pull the man out of the building as they attempted to resuscitate him. He said he could see smoke coming out of the window. Two other victims were also taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Firefighters fought the blaze for almost an hour before getting it under control. Fire marshals were working to determine what caused the fire. It is not clear if the apartment was equipped with working smoke detectors or fire alarms. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family that has suffered a tremendous loss.

Laws and Liability Issues

According to the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), firefighters responded to 27,053 structural fires citywide in 2018. Of those 1,797 structural fires were categorized as “serious.” The U.S. Fire Administration reports that New York leads the nation 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 happen in homes that don’t have a working smoke alarm.

Also, the FDNY says that nearly two-thirds of the fires that claim the lives of New Yorkers involve dwellings where smoke alarms and smoke detectors have not been inspected and/or are not working. Smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers have a crucial role to play when it comes to protecting the public from burn injuries and smoke inhalation injuries, which can be deadlier than burns in many cases.

New York City law requires working smoke detectors to be present in every housing unit. Property owners, landlords and/or property managers are required under city law to provide, install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in each unit. In addition to being present, these life-saving devices should also be in good working order, which means they must be periodically inspected and repaired and/or replaced if and when necessary.

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 if any 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 someone else’s negligence (carelessness) or 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 insurance 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

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