A terrifying apartment fire in New York City earlier this month left 11 individuals recovering from a variety of injuries. The blaze broke out at an apartment building in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan at around 8:30 PM on the evening of September 11. Flames quickly spread from a bedroom through the entire primary apartment and smoke filled the structure within minutes.
FDNY responded to alarms within minutes and residents of the 6-story building at 601 West 135th Street were quickly evacuated. However, 6 of those individuals had to be treated for various injuries including smoke inhalation.
During the struggle to contain the fast-moving flames, 7 firefighters also suffered a variety of minor injuries for which they needed medical treatment. While an FDNY spokesperson told media outlets that it did not look like the fire was “suspicious,” an ongoing investigation will hopefully determine the cause of the fire.
Such determination will be essential for those residents if they intend on seeking compensation. For example, if faulty wiring or an improperly installed appliance or electric device is found to have caused the fire, individuals could potentially hold the landlord or the individual who installed the equipment liable for everything from their medical expenses to any lost or damaged property.
An experienced attorney will investigate whether or not adequate smoke and fire detection units were properly installed and whether safe evacuation routes were properly maintained. Under the New York City code, a landlord not only has the responsibility to ensure that properly installed and working smoke and fire detection units are maintained but also to keep evacuation routes such as fire escapes and stairwells clear of clutter and debris. Failure to do so could expose the property owner to liability for the victims’ injuries, medical expenses and lost time from work.
If you’ve been the victim of a building fire, contact an experienced apartment fire attorney in New York City today to get the legal help you need. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.