An apartment building fire can be a major tragedy for Georgia residents and their families, which is one reason why it is often a major fear of apartment dwellers. Residents of one Texas building recently learned in a horrifying way that the safety standards they may have expected of their building were, unfortunately, not in place or functioning correctly. On July 20, 2018, the Iconic Village Apartmens burst into flames overnight. However, the fire alarms did not sound, and people in the building were awoken by invading smoke, heat, breaking glass and screams as a result.
Five people were killed in the blaze and many more tenants and guests were injured. After the fire, four injured tenants and the family of one tenant who lost his life have come together to file a lawsuit against the building’s owners, operators and property management firm. In their complaint, the plaintiffs note that the fire alarms in the building did not go off despite the fire, leading people to stay asleep and remain unaware of the rising flames. In addition, they cited city inspection reports that showed that the building lacked functioning fire sprinklers and other key safety items.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for their losses as a result of the owners’ failure to maintain their property and exercise their mandatory duty of care to tenants and their guests. They are also demanding punitive damages because of the owners’ recklessness in failing to maintain or install fire safety or suppression equipment.
Landlords, business owners, property management corporations and others responsible for properties open to guests, tenants and the public have a responsibility to make their properties safe. People who have been injured because a negligent property owner failed to take basic safety measures can work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue a premises liability claim for compensation for their damages.