An apartment fire in New York that broke out around midnight on New Year’s Eve killed three family members living in an apartment in Queens. Over 100 firefighters and 25 units responded to the apartment fire in Queens. According to official reports Napoleon Michel, his wife Louise Jean-Charles, and Nadia Donnay (the couple’s 37-year old cousin) all lived in the apartment.
A spokesperson for the FDNY called the conditions inside the apartment building “real tough” and said that all three victims were in cardiac arrest when rescuers were finally able to break down the door to their apartment. The victims were transported to a local hospital where they were declared dead.
Fire Chief Leonard said the likely cause of the fire was the kitchen stove and that the situation was hampered by improperly maintained smoke detectors within the apartment. Leonard went on to say that “over two-thirds of our fire fatalities in [New York City] occur without working smoke detectors.” Had the detectors been in working order, Chief Leonard feels that the family would have had a fighting chance at survival.
Apartment fires in New York occur far too often. The FDNY responded to over 25,000 structural fires in New York City in 2012-that’s nearly 70 fires per day. In that same year 70 individual’s lost their lives to injuries sustained during fires. Many times apartment fires are caused or made worse by unsafe conditions-exposed or faulty wiring, improper escape access, missing or non-functional fire/smoke detectors. In many cases victims, or the surviving family members of victims, can file wrongful death lawsuits against apartment owners or building management companies.
In these tragic times you don’t have to go it alone. If you or a loved one has been injured in such a tragic accident, contact an expert New York City apartment fire attorney immediately to discuss the legal options available to you. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.