Could the injuries from this apartment fire have been prevented and are justice and compensation available to the victims? Read Our Legal Take below to find out what legal options are available.
A fire engulfed a DeKalb, Illinois apartment building Tuesday night, March 25, 2019, leaving multiple people injured and hundreds of tenants searching for housing. According to Daily-Chronicle.com, ” fire crews responded to a 10:54 p.m. call for a fire at [an] Apartment complex at 808 Ridge Drive.” Per the report, the fire is being ruled intentional after crews discovered mattresses were set ablaze in a third-floor common area. According to the report, “[s]ix people were taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, one with life-threatening injuries.”
Residents at the complex feel that safety measures and equipment are in question at the complex. As reported by Daily-Chronicle.com, a resident said “three people tried to pull the fire alarms manually and the system did not appear to be working.” another resident told the news outlet “I didn’t hear the fire alarms going off…I heard somebody banging on my door, that’s what made us get up.” According to WSPYnews.com, “Police say some people were unable to get out of the building. DeKalb firefighters used ladders to rescue them.” The building was condemned because of the extent of the fire damage, leaving 140 tenants displaced, according to the report.
This is apparently not the first fire incident at the complex. According to a Daily-Chronicle.com report, the DeKalb City Manager stated “[t]he…complex has been the scene of multiple arson fires in recent years…and city officials have tried to ramp up security measures in the building despite…lack of action on the property managers’ part.”
The fire is being investigated by the DeKalb Police and Fire departments and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Our Legal Take
As the fire department continues its investigation, premises liability attorneys with The Murray Law Firm question whether a lack of fire safety measures at the complex may have contributed to this incident.
- 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?
- When was the last fire inspection performed on the property?
- Were any safety measures added after any previous fires?
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 DeKalb apartment complex be found at fault, the victims may elect to hold the owner and management company civilly liable for their injuries and suffering. 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.
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