A fatal fire in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood on the far south side has left four children dead and two adults critically injured. The fire erupted on the second floor of a building housing nearly 20 unites, around 3:30 a.m. The four children were asleep on the third floor unit, where there were no working smoke detectors. Fire injury lawyers. at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm take a closer look to try to glean some lessons from this tragedy.
The 18-unit building (11200 block of South Vernon) is owned by a landlord who was, according to residents, very neglectful of the building and its tenants. The building failed many city inspections over the last decade, including the most recent inspection on June 9 of this year. According to the city building records, which can be found online, city inspectors cited missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors along with inadequate furnaces, extensive water damage, and broken doors.
The door to the unit where all four children were sleeping was open when the fire started, which fire officials believe is how the fire spread into that apartment. The second-floor unit where the fire erupted is owned by a man who was not home at the time. He told theChicago Sun-Times that he complained many times to building management, who would ignore his complaints and requests for maintenance. He noted that lately his stove had been smoking and the locks on his front door were broken.
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The mother of the four children killed jumped out of a third-story window with her boyfriend; they are in critical condition at a nearby hospital. The rest of the buildings’ 50 residents were able to evacuate safely, although they are now without a home. The Red Cross came to the scene early Monday morning to hand out water and offer services.
Negligence and Carelessness in Fire Injury Lawsuits
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Residential fires can be caused by many factors, such as defective appliances (in this case, a smoking stove), fireplaces, candles, cigarettes, and heaters. Particularly in buildings with several units or decrepit conditions, fires can be inordinately deadly and destructive. According to statistics by the U.S. Fire Administration, more Americans died in fires in 2008 than all natural disasters combined.
When a fire is caused by someone else’s negligence or careless behavior, a lawsuit may be filed by those affected. For example, the fire that erupted in Roseland was clearly incited by the building’s lack of proper management and oversight. The building failed most of its city inspections, and resident’s complaints were routinely ignored. If the landlord has insurance on the building, those affected by the fire would be able to file suit against the company and obtain compensation for the harm done to them.
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Burn injuries can be among the most devastating and long-lasting, causing extensive hospital stays and repeated surgeries. In children especially, the permanent effects can be life-altering. The last thing families suffering after a fire need to worry about is how they are going to pay their medical bills and property damage costs. That is where we come in.
With a national network of legal and medical experts, we have the resources to investigate your case to make sure you receive everything you need to get back on your feet. We will handle all the insurance company details along with the medical expenses, continued care plans, and litigation. If your family lost a loved one in a fire, our team of wrongful death lawyers is available to speak with you and help determine if you have a case. Our legal consultations are always free, confidential, and no-obligation.