BRONX APARTMENT BUILDING FIRE RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT SAFETY DOORS, LACK OF SPRINKLERS AND WORKING FIRE ALARMS
Jan. 11, 2022
All of us at Raskin & Kremins send our condolences and prayers to our neighbors affected by the deadly fire here in the Bronx. This tragedy is the deadliest fire New York City has experienced in the past three decades.
To help assist those families and their loved ones affected by this tragedy, Raskin & Kremins has made a generous donation to The Bronx Community Foundation, an organization working directly with those affected by this tragedy.
Preliminary investigation reveals that faulty fire doors were the cause of such devastating destruction. The New York City Administrative Code Section 27 makes the building owner/landlord legally responsible for having self-closing doors in every apartment building. According to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, the door “malfunctioned”, as a family left their apartment to flee the fire. Commissioner Nigro also stated, “as they left, they opened the door, and the door stayed opened… the fire started in a malfunctioning electric space heater in a bedroom of a duplex apartment on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building, he said.”
Commissioner Nigro further states, “we urge residents to report malfunctioning doors to property owners/landlords, or call 311 if issues are not corrected and HPD will respond. Many of the doors in this building were not self-closing, causing the fire to spread throughout the building resulting in massive death, injuries and destruction."
The Fire Department of New York has issued the following safety tips regarding the use of space heaters:
Purchase a space heater with a thermostat and automatic shut-off and make sure it includes the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Mark;
Never use an extension cord with a space heater, and turn off/unplug the heater when you leave the room;
Be sure to keep your space heater at least three (3) feet from bedding, curtains, and other materials;
Avoid using electric space heaters in the bathroom, or other areas where they may come in contact with water;
PLEASE NOTE – the use of Kerosene or propane space heaters is illegal in New York City, and the use of these types of space heaters poses a high risk of injury or death.
Raskin & Kremins, has successfully sued landlords/property owners and the City of New York in previous fires, where the landlord/property owner did not have self-closing doors in proper working order. In 2017, Raskin & Kremins was successful in obtaining a five-million-dollar settlement for a young girl, who suffered severe injuries from smoke inhalation, as a result of the landlord’s failure to have properly closing doors in a building which they owned. This continues to be an issue as seen in this recent tragic fire.
Please feel free to contact us at Raskin & Kremins or call (212) 587-3434, should you have any questions regarding your legal rights on fire safety or other matters.