A tragic apartment fire in New York City turned fatal earlier last month. The blaze on March 16th began in a building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side early on the morning of March 15th. At roughly 1:30 AM, fire crews were called to East 78th Street near the intersection of 2nd Avenue where they discovered smoke and flames spilling from one of the units into the remaining structure.
Upon entering the premises, they discovered the most seriously injured victim (a 94-year-old woman) in the unit in which the fire started. She was taken to a nearby hospital but was declared dead shortly after arrival. A young woman and her 3-month-old baby were also injured in the fire. They were rushed to a nearby hospital but were expected to make full recoveries. All three of the victims were located on the third floor of the six-story building.
It took nearly 2 hours and 106 individual responders for the FDNY to get the blaze under control. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. However, investigators will also be looking at whether the apartment complex had working fire alarms installed. In many recent fires, the units within individual apartments have been found faulty. Either there were no alarms at all or the batteries have been removed from the units or the batteries were so far past their lifespan that the smoke alarms were no longer operable.
Under New York City law, apartment owners are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and replacement of such safety equipment. Failure in that regard constitutes negligence which can lead to fines against the building owner along with liability for the tenants’ injuries in civil lawsuits—making those individuals financially responsible for a victim’s losses.
If you’ve been injured in an apartment and suspect negligence played a part, contact an experienced apartment fire attorney in New York City as soon as you are able. The team at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel can help. Call 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation today.