Apartment Fires Who is ResponsibleApartment fires can be devastating. Not only can you lose all of your possessions, but you can also sustain severe and life-altering burn injuries. The law generally holds the person responsible for causing the fire liable for any injuries or property damages. Parties who may be potentially liable include:

Property Owner, Landlord, or Manager

Owners, landlords, and managers have a legal duty to keep their property maintained in a reasonably safe condition. If these entities know, or should have known, of a dangerous condition, they should address it immediately. If a tenant reports a dangerous condition to the landlord, it should be acted upon as soon as possible. Owners, landlords, and managers can be liable for fires due to a:

  • Failure to install or maintain smoke detectors, alarms, or sprinklers
  • Failure to provide fire extinguishers
  • Failure to adequately comply with fire and building codes to limit the dangers caused by fires
  • Failure to ensure that fire exits are accessible and of a sufficient number for the tenants in the building
  • Failure to maintain and repair electrical wires and gas lines
  • Failure to maintain appliances
  • Failure to inspect and maintain furnaces and boilers

Another Tenant Who Caused the Fire

When you live in an apartment building with many people you are sometimes at the mercy of their actions. One mistake by a tenant can cost lives. If a tenant fails to exercise fire safety, and the landlord is unaware of the tenant’s conduct, the tenant may be liable for any damages. A tenant may be negligent in:

  • Leaving a lit candle unattended
  • Forgetting to unplug an iron or curling iron
  • Leaving the stove on
  • Failing to clean out the lint trap in a drier
  • Plugging too many appliances into an outlet
  • Failing to alert the landlord of possible hazards

Third Parties

In addition to a property owner,  landlord, or another tenant, in some cases, other entities may be held liable for injuries sustained in an apartment fire. These entities include:

  • An electrician, if a faulty electrical issue started the fire
  • A gas company if the fire was caused by a gas explosion
  • The manufacturer of a defective smoke detector, smoke alarm, or sprinkler system
  • The manufacturer of a defective appliance that started a fire
  • The manufacturer of furniture that fails to meet safety standards
  • The contractor who built the apartment
  • A contractor who did insufficient repairs on the building

If you’ve been injured in an apartment fire, you should contact an experienced attorney to evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.