Five people were sent to the hospital earlier this week after an apartment fire in Harlem. The fire broke out at 480 Convent Avenue in Manhattan around 1:30 in the morning on January 1st. The blaze started inside a single unit in the building and quickly spread-engulfing the entire apartment. It sent toxic smoke and fumes throughout the building.
Five people were injured-including at least one resident of the apartment where the fire started. Investigators combed through the rubble in an attempt to find the source of the fire. There was some speculation that it could have been caused by a Christmas tree but no definitive ignition source had yet been identified.
One troubling report from this scary apartment fire in New York City suggests that the smoke alarms on the upper floors of the building may not have been functioning properly. Residents reported hearing alarms from the third floor-the floor on which the fire started-but nothing from the two floors above-which were filled with smoke as well.
Under New York City law, landlords are required to install, inspect, and maintain smoke alarms in every unit. If they fail to do so and a fire breaks out, they could be held liable for any injuries or property loss that may occur.
Thankfully, the injured victims in this particular apartment fire in Harlem are likely to make full recoveries. However, this story could very easily have taken a much more tragic turn. If it is shown that functioning smoke alarms would have afforded the victims sufficient time to escape injuries, the injured parties would have a viable claim against the building owner for their pain and suffering, lost time from work and any out of pocket expenses.
If you’ve been injured due to a fire and think that improper maintenance or the absence of working smoke alarms contributed to your injuries, contact an experienced apartment fire lawyer in New York City today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 right now.