Could the death and injuries from this apartment fire have been prevented and are justice and compensation available to the victims?
A fire engulfed an Albuquerque, New Mexico apartment complex early Tuesday morning, April 16, 2019.
According to ABQjournal.com, “officers were sent to the blaze at [an] apartment complex on Eubank NE, south of Montgomery NE…[t]he fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. and when firefighters arrived at the apartment complex they found one of the buildings consumed by flames and heavy smoke.” The news story reports that in one of the units “a 10-year-old boy didn’t make it out…the boy’s siblings, ages 2 and 13, were taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital and remained in critical condition.” One other person was injured according to ABQjournal.com, “Hannah Makvandi, who jumped from a window of her second-story apartment, was also hospitalized with a sprained ankle.” KOAT.com is reporting “[c]rews were able to put the fire out, but…six of the eight units sustained severe or total damage.” The fire is under investigation and Albuquerque Fire Rescue state “We don’t know if it started in the apartment, if it started in a different part of the building, the fire investigators are taking that all into account, due to the large fire, the building is compromised,” according to the KOAT.com report.
In a subsequent news story, ABQjournal.com reports, “the family of the 10-year-old boy who was killed in a Northeast Heights apartment fire early Tuesday has identified him as Ja’Zay Simpson.”
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?
- Were all escape routes properly marked at the building?
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. The owner and management company of an apartment complex have a legal 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 Albuquerque 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.
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