Two individuals were killed in a deadly apartment fire in Harlem late last month. Several other individuals—including the children of one of the victims—were injured in the blaze. Over 100 FDNY personnel responded to the two-alarm fire along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard on November 19th at 1:30 in the morning. It took over two hours for the firefighters to get the blaze under control. Upon entering the building, they found several victims in need of medical treatment. Six victims were rushed to nearby hospitals. Sadly, two of those individuals perished. The victims included an 81-year-old man, a 37-year-old woman and two children.
While the Fire Marshall’s investigation is not yet complete, firefighters did tell media outlets that the door of the apartment in which the fire started was left open, allowing the blaze to spread into the hallway and to other units in the building. There was no word concerning the availability or condition of smoke alarms within the units.
Under New York City law, apartments must be equipped with working smoke alarms that must be regularly maintained. If landlords fail to install or maintain these alarms, they could be held liable for any property losses suffered in a fire and injuries sustained by the tenants and their guests. In addition, property owners must maintain the common areas such as hallways and stairwells in good repair so that firefighters and tenants can traverse these areas safely. Stairwells should have adequate lighting to help prevent falls whether an emergency situation or not.
Property owners will be held responsible for medical expenses, lost property and pain and suffering if it is shown that proper alarms were not installed or maintained and/or the common areas were in disrepair and resulted in a fall.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a blaze, contact an expert New York City apartment fire lawyer today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-737-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation now.