Articles Posted in Smoke Detectors

The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that two Chicago Police officers kicked in the doors of a burning apartment building to save a disabled resident who was unable to see due to a thick haze of smoke that enveloped the second floor. The officers were patrolling the 400 block of East 66th street in the West Woodlawn neighborhood just after midnight when they saw the smoke and flames coming from the building. They broke down the doors and banged on all the windows trying to get everyone’s attention and to help them get to safety.

The fire broke out in a first-floor apartment that was fortunately not occupied at the time. However, there were several people home across the hall and upstairs as well. After being warned by the police officers, the residents quickly grabbed their personal belongings and fled. The police officers acts of bravery saved the lives of everyone in the building, with no one sustaining serious injuries. Had they not been there, who knows what the outcome could have been.

Fire safety and awareness is important. You should test your smoke detectors regularly and ensure that they are functioning properly. Had these brave officers not been nearby, these Chicago residents may have suffered serious injuries. Our attorneys know that fire safety is important and that all Chicago apartment buildings must be safe for their occupants and in line with city building codes . While the cause of the fire in this building is unknown, fire detectors could have alerted residents of a fire. Laws that require building owners and operators to maintain safe premises are premises liability laws. Premises liability is the body of law that holds a person responsible for injuries that occur in his or her property.

Every so often, a serious carbon monoxide poisoning makes the national news. This week, fifty four individuals received personal injuries after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning during a youth hockey tournament. Several teens, children, and adults were treated for varying degrees of severity of carbon monoxide poisoning. Luckily, none of the patients faced life-threatening injuries. Several individuals were released, but a couple of people were held for further treatment.

In situations like this, when an accident or injury occurs to a visitor on another person’s property, the property owner may be held legally responsible, or liable, if the victim can prove that the owner’s negligence led to the personal injury. Injuries on properties can include those from exposure to toxic or hazardous substances such as lead or mold, slip and fall accidents, dog bites or maulings, or drownings. Premises liability plantiffs must prove that the property owners either failed to maintain the property or created unsafe conditions which caused the personal injury, knew about the unsafe hazard but did not alert visitors or tenants to this fact, was not careful concerning unsafe conditions which might attract children, or took actions or neglected conditions that caused damage to a neighboring property.
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Chicago news source Lake Effect News is reporting tonight that there was a severe fire in an Uptown SRO this afternoon. Editor Lorraine Swanson reported that the fire on the seventh-floor left one man with personal injuries of second-degree burns. He also suffered from smoke inhalation. Dozens of other residents exited their units and many residents told Lake Effect News that the building’s alarm system did not go off during the fire; they were ignorant of the fire until the fire trucks pulled up. One witness told Lake Effect News that firefighters were knocking on doors looking for the fire and smoke came pouring out when they found the unit with the fire. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to find the victim who was lying on the floor.

Fortunately, this fire appears to have been contained to the one unit and did not spread to other parts. If residents’ accounts of non-functioning smoke detectors and fire alarms are true, this fire could have led to tragic results. We will keep watching as this story unfolds.

Click here to read the Lake Effect News story on the Uptown fire.

The attorneys at Levin & Perconti have continued to stress the importance of ensuring that homes have working smoke detectors and wanted to share the Illinois Fire Marshal’s instructions with our readers. The Illinois Fire Marshal is asking people to check to see if they are using a recalled smoke detector. While you are looking to see what type of smoke detector you have in your home, please also check to see if its working!

To read more about the Illinois fire marshal warning.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of roughly 94,000 smoke alarms. The alarms being recalled are Kidde Model PI2000 Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms. An electrostatic discharge can damage the unit, causing it not to warn consumers of a fire.

To read more about the smoke alarm recall.

The 22 victims of the Cook County office building fire from 2003 have settled their personal injury lawsuit against the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the building’s management. The $100 million dollar settlement for this personal injury lawsuit will compensate the victims who were injured when the high rise building fire broke out; most were caught in the stairwells and suffered from the smoke.

See the news story here.

At a news conference this morning, the lawfirm of Levin & Perconti announced that a Cook County judge has accepted a $6 million settlement figure in the Rogers Park fire that was one of the deadliest fires in recent Chicago history. Yadira Ramirez spoke on behalf of her family and the emotional struggles that they have been going through since she lost five siblings in a single blaze. In tears, Ms. Ramirez explained, “Every time we see a family, we remember everything.”

The fire also took the life of a sixth child, the only daughter of Maria Ramos. The wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the low-income building claimed that the building had faulty smoke detectors that did not sound when the fire started. The source of the fire is believed to have been a candle. The Ramirez family could not afford to pay their electric bill and was using candles to light their apartment at night.

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A $6 million settlement was announced today by John J. Perconti and Patricia M. Gifford of Chicago personal injury firm Levin & Perconti for the deaths of six children and for the injuries of two children on September 3, 2006 in a Rogers Park apartment fire. The settlement was approved by Judge Elizabeth Budzinski today in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Ramirez and Ramos families. Augusta & Amado Ramirez lost five children in the fire, Kevin, Idaly, Sucette, Erik and Vanessa Ramirez and two other children, William and Natali Ramirez suffered severe burn injuries. A settlement was also reached on behalf of the Ramos family for the death of their daughter, Scarlet Ramos.

On September 3, 2006, a fire broke out at 7706 North Marshfield in Rogers Park claiming the lives of six innocent children and severely injuring two others. Five of the Ramirez children and the Ramos’ only daughter perished in this fire.

A personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit were filed on September 21, 2006 on behalf of the Ramirez and Ramos families against Marshway Limited Partnership, Marshway, L.L.C., and CIG Management L.L.C.
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A press conference has been scheduled to formally announce the settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit filed after a Rogers Park fire killed six children ranging from three to fourteen years of age. The fire broke out in one of the several low-income buildings owned by Cornerstone Residential, LLC. The building did not have working smoke detectors.

The conference is scheduled for 10:30 am on November 13, 2007, at Levin & Perconti, the law firm that represented the victim’s families.

Click here for the full article.

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