Our area has been saddened recently as news spread about a tragic Illinois fire in nearby Aurora that claimed the lives of six people and injured many others. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys learned of the fire in the Sun-Times , which offered a comprehensive story on the fire accident and its aftermath.
Investigators are still unsure what started the fire, but they know that it began in the living room of a unit on the first floor occupied by the superintendent. The individuals in that apartment tried to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, but were unsuccessful. Those residents escaped, but the fire spread, ultimately trapping many other residents in their units.
Ten units are in the apartment building, and it was filled with roughly 25 to 30 residents when the fire brought out in the early morning, around 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. The fire moved very quickly throughout the building-doubling in size every minute and trapping many people before firefighting crews had arrived.
Some residents were able to escape by jumping out of windows, others were fortunate enough to rush out of the back stairwell and exit. However, those living in the units closest to the fire’s origin were less lucky. Four members of a five person family, including two children, were killed in one apartment. Only their teenage son was able to escape. Two others-a mother and her 8 month old son-were killed in the adjacent apartment. Her husband and two-year old daughter were able to get out but were injured.
Chicago police officers determined that there were smoke detectors in many areas of the building, but they are still trying to determine if there was a working device in the room where the fire was started. They have yet to find a working detector in that location.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti know that there are few local calamities that have the potential to cause more destruction than fires, particularly those in apartment buildings filled with sleeping residents. As with other injury victims, we are committed to helping victims of fire recover for their losses if management or ownership of these buildings were negligent in their upkeep. For example, we previously earned a $6 million settlement for the families of six children who died in an apartment fire on Chicago’s North Side for failure to have appropriate smoke detectors installed and working.
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