There have been three serious fires in the Chicago area in as many days, causing heavy damage, displacing families, and injuring several victims. Fire injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm would like to take this opportunity to outline some basic tips for keeping your family safe and warm during the winter season, and remind those injured in fires that compensation may be available.
The most recent fire occurred in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side around 10:00 at night. A four-story apartment building erupted in flames, causing one man in his 50s to jump from the second floor and receive emergency medical care. Twelve other residents, though fortunately not injured, are now without a home. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.
The other two fires were in suburban Chicago, in Island Lake and Berwyn. The Island Lake fire caused heavy damage to a Sikh temple, which erupted around 8:00 pm. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the temple was a very old building and fortunately no one was believed to be in the temple when the fire started. The cause of this fire is also under investigation by federal and state agencies.
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Four people were injured in a fire and explosion accident in Oak Park / Berwyn at the Turano Bakery commercial building. The fire began in Turano’s truck maintenance garage around 2:00 pm, where four workers were injured and taken to a nearby hospital. It is believed that the fire occurred when the Turano employees were working on a truck propane tank. They were changing a tank in one of the trucks and mistakenly thought it was empty.
While trying to remove the full propane tank, fuel shot out of the tank and hit a heating unit in the garage, which then exploded. The injuries to the workers are not serious, but the Turano building itself is badly damaged, nearly blown apart by the explosion. A residential home next to the bakery was also damaged. Smoke enveloped much of the surrounding area in the aftermath of the explosion, affecting residents within at least a full square mile of Turano Bakery.
Legal Options after Fires
Our lawyers have been representing victims injured in fire and explosion accidents for several decades. For these types of cases, we work with experienced investigators and specialists who will get to the root of the eruption. If the fire is caused by someone else’s negligence, anyone injured in the fire can receive compensation for their medical bills, time away from work, or even the loss of a loved one.
Some examples of fires caused by negligence include: faulty wiring, gas explosions, and defective or nonexistent smoke detectors. Each case is different, so depending on the unique circumstances of the fire, there are a number of parties who can be held liable for the fire.
Among the parties who could be liable are: the landlord, the manufacturer of a defective appliance or device, the builder or contractor of the home, an electrician or their employer, a propane or gas company, and many other possibilities.
Every year in the United States fires kill more people than all other natural disasters combined. About 80% of all deaths linked to fires occur in residential homes, and cooking and careless smoking are the leading causes of these fires.
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Throughout the winter, particularly in Chicago and other northern cities, heating plays a big role in fire safety. These types of fires are especially common in single-family homes, where maintenance is less overseen. The elderly and children under the age of five are most likely to suffer fatal injuries in a fire.
Having working smoking detectors is critically important to surviving a fire – a few months ago, in September 2014, four children died in a Chicago fire because of a lack of working smoke alarms. The fire started on the second floor of an apartment building in Roseland in the middle of the night. The four children were asleep in a third floor unit where no working smoke alarms were present. The apartment building failed several inspections over the last few years.
The team of burn injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm reminds the public how important it is to check smoke detectors, furnaces, and other heating appliances to make sure they are working correctly. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a fire, contact our firm immediately. We offer free legal consultations to anyone with questions or concerns, nationwide.