ABC 7 NY reported an early morning fire on the fifth floor of an apartment building on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, New York, NY 10013.
Firefighters responded to the Chinatown apartment as flames shot out of the fifth-floor window just before 4 a.m. on Friday, April 15, 2022. Two residents, a 91-year-old woman and her 52-year-old son, were killed in the second alarm fire. Four other residents were injured, along with two firefighters. One of the injured firefighters fell through a stairwell as they exited the building during the evacuation but is said to be in stable condition.
Firefighters spent one hour putting the fire out, according to News NY1. They reported that the cluttered condition inside the building made it challenging during the search and rescue. Many of the items were tossed out of the windows to make room as they searched for residents. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Authorities are still checking to determine if there were working smoke alarms in the building.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville often represents victims injured during an apartment fire. Laurence is an experienced fire injury lawyer licensed in New York. During a recent interview, he discussed the legal options available for victims and the families of those injured or killed in an apartment fire, including when they can file a lawsuit.
"High rise apartment fires can lead to the deaths and injuries of many residents. Law enforcement authorities will investigate to identify what caused the fire, which may determine who is at fault. However, this can be a complex issue as many third parties could be held accountable for the damages."
"The apartment owner and management are responsible for maintaining the structural safety and health standards for tenants within their buildings. Repairs should be prioritized properly, especially when they affect the renters' immediate safety. Poor or missing smoke detectors, packed fire exits or hallways, or even faulty wiring and heating equipment are all examples of safety infractions. The building owner may be held accountable if they are found to have neglected issues that led to unlivable conditions and safety infractions."
"Additionally, defective items such as portable space heaters may lead to another third party at fault. In 2011 alone, over 18,000 home fires were caused by defective space heaters. If an investigation shows that a space heater could have sparked the fire, the manufacturer or retailer may be held accountable."
"Every situation is unique, and the investigation leading to the cause of the fire is critical. Victims and their families are encouraged to speak with an experienced fire injury lawyer to understand better what legal options they may have. The attorney will be familiar with the legal process and will be able to identify all parties at fault after analyzing all the facts. Furthermore, they can assist them in receiving the maximum compensation they deserve."