A fire broke out on January 7th in Rockford, claiming the lives of four people, reports the State Journal Register. The fire occurred in a two-story single family home where six total people lived. The victims included a 13-year-old boy, his 61-year-old grandmother, a 10-month-old infant and a 21-year-old young man.
This fatal fire was likely caused by an electrical problem and no foul play is suspected at this time. A natural Christmas tree still standing fueled the fire. As our personal injury lawyers understand, it is dangerous to keep Christmas trees much longer than New Years, as dry trees can easily ignite and can be fully consumed in about a minute, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Rockford firefighters stated that the home had fire detectors but they were not operating properly. After this incident, Rockford firefighters distributed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to neighbors. Autopsies showed that all four died from smoke inhalation. This tragic accident highlights the importance of fire safety and maintaining proper alarms and detectors.
Our Chicago premises liability attorneys have represented fire victims for over twenty years. In a similar case, we achieved a $6 million dollar settlement for the deaths of six children who died and for the injuries of two others suffered in a Rogers Park fire. John Perconti filed the lawsuit on behalf of the injured families. Like the Rockford fire, our clients’ wrongful deaths may have been prevented had there been working smoke detectors onsite. Unfortunately, the victims were not warned of the dangers until it was too late. The lawsuit alleged that the building’s property managers were negligent for failing to inspect or ensure that all smoke detectors in the building were working properly.
Our lawyers also recently filed a lawsuit for victims of a fire in Aurora that killed six people. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of the victims and their families against the building owners and maintenance employees responsible.
Building owners and operators have a responsibility to maintain a safe premises for renters and occupants, and if they fail to do so, they can be held liable for injuries that occur on the property. If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire because of negligent building maintenance or building code violations, please contact our offices for a free legal consultation.