More than 60 people were injured and 19 have lost their lives in what was one of the deadliest fires in NYC in decades, according to the Washington Post. Now, it is believed that the fire was caused by a space heater that caught fire.
The fire in the 19-story apartment complex sent dozens of people to the hospital in critical condition. The blaze required roughly 200 firefighters to put it out, as victims and their families now grapple with the immense loss of possessions, property, and, most of all, their loved ones.
Unfortunately, it appears as though the fire was preventable, and the damage caused by the fire could have been limited, had there been certain safety measures in place. For example, apartment complexes are required to come with self-closing doors, which can help stop the spread of fire, and it appears that in this case, the door did not close on its own, allowing the fire to spread. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) said of the incident, “There is often a disconnect between the requirements of the law and the actual living conditions of these buildings.”
“Residents who spoke with THE CITY said the building had a faulty alarm system for years, going off at all hours of the day for false alarms, so it caught them off guard when the blaze on Sunday turned out to be all too real.”
New York City is reeling from the incalculable damage caused by this fire, but there is help available to victims. The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny has represented hundreds of firefighters who have been injured in the line of duty under a special law enacted to protect firefighters injured in the line of duty and where there is a building violation that can be implicated. The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny has also represented fire victims and achieved settlements in those cases for millions of dollars. Finally, our firm has represented countless firefighter families of the 911 disaster pro bono.