UPDATE: WLOS.com has identified Laura Jean Trawick, 57, as the victim of this tragic apartment fire.
Could the death and injuries from this apartment fire have been prevented and are justice and compensation available to victims and their families?
An early morning fire engulfed an Asheville apartment building January 27, 2019. According to FOX CAROLINA “Firefighters arrived at an apartment building off Pritchard Road at 6:30 a.m. in response to a fire. They say the fire was in an advanced stage. Crews took an offensive approach and were able to put out the fire.”
WLOS is reporting “when fire crews searched the apartment, they discovered a victim who had succumbed to their injuries.” The identity of that victim is unknown at this time. One other occupant was injured in the fire, and according to WLOS, “The injured person was transported to Mission with life-threatening injuries, and has since been transported to a burn center in Georgia.” That persons identity is unknown.
The fire remains under investigation.
Our Legal Take
As the fire department continues its investigation, premises liability attorneys with The Murray Law Firm question whether a lack emergency evacuation procedures and fire safety measures at the complex may have contributed to this incident.
- When was the last fire inspection and emergency evacuation drill performed?
- What fire safety measures, such as working smoke detectors, fire sprinklers and emergency exits, were in place and working at the time of the fire?
As details of this fire continue to emerge, The Murray Law Firm suggests that it is possible that the apartment complex failed to undertake proper safety measures to protect those residents and guests legally on the premises. Under certain State law, the owner and management company of an apartment complex have a duty to protect residents and to keep the premises safe. If the owner or manager fails in this duty, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths that occur as a consequence.
Should the Asheville apartment complex be found at fault, the victims may elect to hold the owner and management company civilly liable for their injuries. Financial recovery for such a claim could be substantial.
As insurance companies and unscrupulous property owners are often more concerned with limiting their financial exposure in these incidents, it is crucial that the victims retain an experienced premises liability firm as soon as possible to ensure all evidence, such as a faulty fire alarm or a poor evacuation plan, is preserved and the victims’ best interests are protected. The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in premises liability and apartment negligence cases, such as this, and we offer our legal expertise, if needed.
If anyone has information to share, or if anyone is seeking information regarding this incident, please contact us at 888.842.1616.
The Murray Law Firm has obtained over $100 million dollars for its Clients, and recently secured a $29.25 million dollar verdict for a victim of an unsafe property.
We represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us via e-mail (click here) or by telephone at CALL NOW: 888.842.1616. Consultations are free and confidential.