FDNY investigators are looking into what caused a recent eight-alarm fire in Queens that displaced 90 families and injured at least 21 people. According to an NBC news report, based on preliminary investigations, fire officials believe the blaze originated in a top floor apartment of the Jackson Heights building, and the tenant left the door open while fleeing, allowing the flames to spread quickly. It took hundreds of firefighters nearly 12 hours to contain the fire.
Injuries and Damage
Officials said tenants smelled smoke for about 10 minutes before they called 911, which allowed the fire more time to spread. It is unclear whether all parts of the building were equipped with smoke detectors or alarms. Some residents reported hearing smoke detectors go off. Of the 21 people who were injured, 16 were firefighters and five were civilians. All victims are expected to recover.
The American Red Cross is helping victims of the fire who have been displaced. Neighbors are also holding a donation drive to help people who lost everything in the fire. The community has come out to donate clothing, toys, facemasks and other necessities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims who have been injured or have suffered significant losses as the result of this fire. It is indeed a relief that no lives were lost in this horrific fire.
Fires and explosions cause a number of serious injuries, particularly burn injuries and smoke inhalation injuries. While burns can be devastating and have catastrophic effects, smoke inhalation injuries are actually said to cause more fire-related fatalities than burn injuries. A fire accident victim usually needs a long time to recover from injuries and may still be left with permanent damage such as physical disabilities, scarring and disfigurement, which have a significant emotional and psychological impact as well.
The news report states that officials are continuing to look into the cause of this fire and conduct their investigations to find answers here. It is important in such cases to look into precisely how or why a fire occurred. There are also other critical questions to ask during the course of such investigations. Who owns and/or operates the building? Was the building properly maintained? Was the fire the result of a faulty or defective product/equipment? Was there a dangerous condition in the building that the property owner and/or manager knew or should have known about? Did the incident occur as the result of negligence (carelessness) on the part of the utility company?
It is the responsibility of property owners and/or managers to ensure that gas pipes are properly inspected, repaired and maintained at all times. Worn or broken parts must be repaired or replaced promptly. Property owners and managers have a duty to ensure that their property is safe for all tenants, visitors and guests.
Victims of fires can file what is known as a premises liability claim against the property owner and/or manager. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, surgery, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation as well.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire or explosion, 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 49 years, our skilled attorneys have established a proven track record of assisting 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 client 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/or 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