According to Action News 6, tragedy struck the Maple Shade community late Sunday night, when a massive fire engulfed Fox Meadow Apartments on Adams Drive in Maple Shade, NJ. The fire, which started at 10:26 p.m., tragically claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy and left his mother and 7-year-old sister critically injured. Several other injuries were reported, though none are said to be serious.
Witnesses reported hearing loud bangs that sounded like fireworks as the fire began to spread. One resident of Maple Shade recalled, "I looked out the window and I saw this light and I thought, 'Oh fireworks. Those are really powerful fireworks. Oh that's not fireworks.'"
Firefighters from Maple Shade as well as a number of other communities, responded to the scene and were able to get the fire under control by 11:40 p.m. However, 16 units were damaged in the blaze and dozens of families displaced. In response to the tragedy, the Maple Shade Business Association has opened two donation accounts at Columbia Bank-- one for the families displaced and another for the Marles family.
The Marles family was part of an Action News investigation into Fox Meadow Apartments last year. They helped uncover hundreds of violations at the complex. It is unclear at this time whether the violations had any bearing on the fire.
Attorney commentator Brian Kent, explains how victims and their families may be eligible for compensation for their losses if caught in an apartment fire. As an experienced fire attorney in the state of New Jersey, he shared how fire injury and wrongful death lawsuits can be filed.
"As an attorney, I am deeply concerned about the safety of apartment building residents and the need for apartment management companies to take active steps to ensure their buildings are safe. Fire safety is of utmost importance, and apartment management companies have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent fires from occurring and to minimize the risk of injury or death in the event of a fire. These steps can include regularly inspecting fire alarms and other fire safety equipment, conducting regular fire drills, and ensuring that all exits are clear and accessible in case of fire.
In addition, if a family is injured or killed in an apartment fire, they have the right to legal justice through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Such a lawsuit may seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages sustained as a result of the fire. Victims and their families should consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about their options for justice."