An elderly woman was killed in a massive apartment fire in New York City last month. The 74-year-old victims lived in a four-story apartment building on Tomkins Avenue in Brooklyn that caught fire sometime during the evening of February 27th. Firefighters arrived within minutes of receiving the 911 call but the fire turned into a 4-alarm blaze which the FDNY struggled to get under control. It took them nearly four hours to knock the flames back and extinguish the threat.
The victim was discovered in her fourth-floor apartment unit after the fire was extinguished and firefighters were searching for survivors. One of those 170-plus firefighters also suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated and released.
An investigation was immediately launched into the cause of the fire and how it got out of hand in such a short amount of time. It’s unclear if there were working smoke alarms in all of the apartments in the building.
Under New York City law, apartment owners and landlords are required to do several things in order to safeguard tenants from fires. They must install and maintain smoke alarms and they must keep emergency exits, fire escapes, and stairwells free of clutter and debris that could cause bottlenecks or stop victims from fleeing to safety in the event of a fire.
If a landlord fails to do those things, they could be held liable if a resident is injured in a fire. That victim (or the surviving family members of victims who pass away) could potentially hold those individuals, landlords, property owners or corporations financially liable for their losses. Such claims are for pain and suffering, unpaid medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of financial support.
In order to prosecute a personal injury claim due to a fire, a proper and thorough investigation must be conducted which requires the skill and expertise of an experienced attorney.
If you or a loved on has been hurt in a blaze, contact an experienced New York City apartment fire lawyer today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel, PLLC at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.