An early evening apartment fire in Manhattan claimed the life of a 15-year old girl and injured 2 other residents. 10 firefighters were also injured while fighting the blaze but were reported as having non-life threatening injuries and are expected to recover.
The fire broke out in the first floor apartment at the six-floor apartment building on West 136th Street in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan around 5PM. It took 175 firefighters from all over New York City to squash the blaze. By 7PM, the fire was under control.
Officials told reporters that the blaze was massive and they were surprised they were able to get it under control as quickly as they did. Three buildings around the perimeter were evacuated to prevent other injuries in the event that the fire spread.
The individual who perished in the fire was discovered in the stairwell on the top floor of the building. Officials later released her identity: 15-year old Melissa Mendez. The girl was escaping the building when she was separated from her father. He escaped but she was overcome by smoke.
An investigation into the New York City apartment fire concluded that the fire was likely started by an overloaded power strip in a resident's apartment. The cord was faulty and the instrument was tucked under furniture.
24 residents of the apartment building in question have been displaced and are seeking assistance from the Red Cross and other relief organizations.
In cases like this, victims are often left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Worse yet, if someone is injured or a loved one doesn't survive the fire, families can be devastated both emotionally and financially. However, when someone else's negligence causes a catastrophic apartment fire in New York, victims may be eligible to seek compensation for their loss.
If you or a loved one has suffered as similar tragedy, contact a New York apartment fire attorney immediately to discuss your case. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.