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.
In lawsuits involving premises liability, plaintiffs must prove that the property owners either failed to maintain the premises in a safe condition and that these unsafe conditions caused their injury. Our premises liability attorneys have successfully handled numerous cases and recovered verdicts and settlements for our injured clients and their families. Fire safety is a serious and important issue for all Illinois residents and all apartment dwellers and others who rent or lease their homes should know that their landlords are required to provide smoke detectors in their buildings. More importantly, tenants should be aware that they are often required to ensure that those detectors are functioning properly. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and test them frequently. Many residents forget about fire safety until it is too late. Our attorneys have a strong history of protecting residents’ rights and will fight for you. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a property owner in Illinois, please contact our offices to learn more about your legal rights.