Firefighters from multiple agencies responded to a fire that tore through the 12-unit condominium complex Woodcrest in Monroe County, Michigan over the weekend. The building is located on the 500 block of John Anderson Court. According to acting Monroe Fire Captain Scott Smiley, crews were dispatched around 10:00 am on February 13th. At around 2:00 pm all flames appeared to be extinguished. The fire caused extensive damage to the building where ambulances and the Red Cross were on standby to assist with any injuries or displaced residents of the fire. According to Smiley, none of the apartments are now inhabitable due to extensive fire, smoke, and water damage.
Apartment Owner Duties to Protect Residents
Unfortunately, for apartments and other multi-unit dwellings, fires are not entirely uncommon. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the most common causes of fires include:
- Heaters (portable heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves)
- Electrical malfunctions
Under Michigan law, property owners owe a duty of care to residents for shared common areas such as walkways, pools, and laundry rooms. Additionally, the structure and the infrastructure of a building must be properly maintained for safety and to ensure it is up to code and has working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
It appeared in this case that other than property damages, any injuries may have been minor, however, sometimes people are not so lucky. While burns are usually the first thing to come to mind in a building fire respiratory injuries are the number one causes of death in U.S. house fires. As a fire burns, it decreases the amount of oxygen in the air which can lead to suffocation. The smoke of the fire is also full of toxins that can permanently damage the lungs.
Reach Out to Our Legal Team Today
Our firm investigates injury and wrongful death cases resulting the negligence of property owners, include landlord and building owners. Our investigation can see whether property owners or managers may be liable for causing your injury or for failing to protect you. If you have been injured in an apartment fire or on someone else’s property, please call our offices so we may help you today. Call Charles E. Boyk Law Offices and speak with an experienced lawyer regarding your case.