Atlanta residents who live in apartment buildings or other rental homes are forced to hold a certain amount of trust in their landlords. Landlords are required, by Georgia state law, to keep their rental units maintained and safe from certain hazards. In some cases, property owners and managers simply fail to take reasonable precautions, and in others they even fail to respond to known dangers that are reported by tenants.
On Friday afternoon, a fire took place at an apartment complex in Cherokee, Georgia, destroying or damaging all 28 units in the building. Fortunately, no tenants or guests suffered major injuries in this fire, but four people were treated for smoke inhalation and one person was treated for a reported anxiety attack due to the fire.
Twenty-five families were displaced because of the fire, and they were being assisted by the Red Cross, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. These families likely lost much of their personal property during the fire as well.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday. Apartment fires can of course be caused by a variety of things. In Georgia, apartment buildings are generally required to have fire extinguishers, working fire and smoke alarms and accessible exits and exit routes in order to provide quick detection and evacuation in the case of a fire.
The fire department will likely examine these things to ensure that the landlord is not in violation of any code regulations. Often, those who experience apartment fires also consult with a premises liability attorney who can conduct a separate investigation to learn whether the apartment owner or manager should be held financially accountable for any violations.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “28 apartments damaged in Cherokee fire,” Alexis Stevens, May 25, 2012