Common Causes and Types of Structure Fires
- Gas lines poorly installed, maintained or repaired
- Gas line leak
- Furnace or water heater poorly installed, maintained or repaired
- Kitchen fire
- Faulty electrical wiring or maintenance
- Flammable materials in building
- Faulty fire safety equipment (smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, fire escapes, etc.)
- Fire safety equipment not provided
Apartment Building Fire
An apartment building consists of three or more apartments, and is typically overseen by a landlord, property manager, superintendent, or the property owner. The property owner is responsible for providing apartment building tenants with a safe building, which means they must comply with fire safety regulations.
Property builders, owners and anyone charged with overseeing an apartment building must comply with applicable fire safety codes. In the event that fire safety regulations are overlooked or outright ignored, tenants or building guests who are killed or injured in a structure fire can file a lawsuit for negligence.
If you are a homeowner, homeowner’s insurance covers a house fire. However, if you are a renter and you do not have renters’ insurance, your landlord or the property owner may be liable in the event of a house fire. Alternatively, if a house fire was started by a person hired by the homeowner or landlord to perform maintenance or work on the property, you may have a claim against the person or the business.
Gas lines run prominently through residential communities, industrial centers and places of business. In the U.S., we assume that natural gas lines are properly designed, installed and maintained. But sometimes, a gas line becomes corroded over time and isn’t properly replaced, or a gas line ruptures due to faulty repair work. When this happens, the consequence can be a deadly explosion.
Gas line explosions can happen in an instant, leaving certain disaster in its wake. Often, those in the affected area are defenseless against them with little to no time to react.
These explosions are most often caused by gas leaks. Such a gas leak is at the center of the litigation against SoCalGas in the wake of the Porter Ranch gas leak, the largest methane gas leak in U.S. history, which forced thousands of residents to leave their homes.
Fire Safety Facts
- More than 3,800 people in the U.S. die every year in fire related deaths and approximately 18,300 are injured.
- More people die from smoke inhalation than flames. When a fire breaks out in a building, all of the oxygen can be sucked from a room and replaced with poisonous smoke and gases before flames can even be seen. People often die from lack of oxygen before flames reach their room.
- Fire needs heat, oxygen and fuel to exist. Without one of these components, a fire cannot ignite. Water can be used as a source for cooling a fire, taking away its heat source. A blanket or dirt can cover a fire, removing its oxygen source. Fuel can be eliminated by removing any combustible material from a fire.
- Residential fires are most likely to be started in the kitchen.
- Smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death by fire in the U.S., followed by heating equipment.
Fire Accident Lawyer
The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has experience handling structure fire lawsuits. Our firm understands the devastation wrought by these tragedies and will fight to ensure the maximum available compensation for our clients.
Before she joined Baum Hedlund, lead structural fire attorney Diane Marger Moore spent years working as the Chief Deputy Arson Prosecutor for Marion County, Indiana. During this time, Diane gained invaluable experience investigating structure fires and collecting evidence for cases. Her extensive experience handling insurance litigation in multiple states, with an emphasis on causation, fraud and arson matters, makes Diane uniquely suited to handle complex structure fire claims.
If you would like to speak with a personal injury or wrongful death attorney about your claim, give us a call at (855) 948-5098.