Just last month, a warehouse fire materialized in Oakland, California, claiming the most fatalities in a United States building since 2003, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While investigators considered several possible causes for the fire, primarily concerning defects in electrical appliances, they do not provide a conclusive explanation as to what initiated the fire. However, absent fire sprinklers, inaudible smoke detectors, and abundant wooden structures throughout the property give insight into delays in discovering the fire, and ultimately, preventing the unfortunate loss of 36 people. The tragedy, startling and recent, strongly emphasizes premises liability’s significance in protecting individuals who experienced a building fire. If you or someone you know suffered injuries sustained from a property fire, Bay Area personal injury attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates can evaluate your case through a free consultation.
Premises Liability – What is It?
A large degree of responsibility comes with property ownership. Premises liability outlines property owners’ duty to establish and preserve a safe environment for both residents and guests. Fire remains an imminent risk to such safety, which property owners must address through the repair and replacement of defective electrical appliances and problematic wiring, either due to the property’s age or general negligence. When property owners inadequately address the risk of fire, further investigation and a lawsuit often deems them liable, or responsible, for injury and deaths of individuals within the building.
Common Causes of Property Fires
Property fires undoubtedly inflict immense suffering, including serious burns, suffocation, and instant or eventual death. Numerous factors of these grave consequences include:
- Faulty functioning in electrical appliances, such as stoves, ovens, toasters, and refrigerators.
- Overheated appliances.
- Aged and defective electrical outlets.
- Gas leaks.
- Ineffective fire extinguishers.
- Materials within a building’s interior that ignite fires (such as wood).
- Absence of designated staff tasked with addressing and mitigating fires.
- Inaudible or broken smoke detectors.
Speak With Us
The devastating Oakland fire stresses premises liability’s importance and addresses possible negligence of property owners upon injury and death. If you, or anyone you know suffers injuries, loss, and financial hardship stemming from a property fire, contact Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. at 415-966-2626.