19 People, Including 9 Children, Died In Bronx High Rise Apartment Fire At Twin Parks Northwest On 333 East. 181st Street
BRONX, NEW YORK (August 9, 2021) – At least 19 people have died including numerous children after a 5-alarm fire at Twin Parks Northwest Bronx high-rise apartment on 333 East. 181st Street.
New York City police officials are saying that the fire broke out around 1:27 p.m. on Sunday, January 9th. The exact cause of the fire has not been reported at this time.
In all 19 people have died so far and more than 60 people were injured, some with severe smoke inhalation. This remains one of the deadliest fires in New York city in more than 30 years.
Mayor Eric Adams released the following statement on Twitter after the accident: “We’ve lost 19 of our neighbors today. It’s a tragedy beyond measure. Join me in praying for those we lost, especially the 9 innocent young lives that were cut short.”
Firefighters found victims on nearly every floor of Twin Parks Northwest as they worked to get everyone out. Numerous people were taken to the hospital after exhibiting signs of cardiac arrest.
A full investigation into the cause of the fire at the Twin Parks Northwest apartment complex remains ongoing at this time. There are reports that the fire may have been caused by a malfunctioning space heater. The Twin Parks Northwest had more than two dozen complains and violations prior to the deadly blaze.
Liability In Bronx Apartment Fires
Thousands of people are killed or seriously injured in building fires every year. According to one report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “Each year, an estimated 368,500 residential building fires were reported to fire departments within the United States from 2017 to 2019. These fires caused an estimated 2,770 deaths, 11,650 injuries and $8.1 billion in property loss.” There are numerous potential causes of building fires including:
- Cooking equipment
- Heating equipment
- Electrical equipment
- Unsupervised candles
Depending on the specific facts of any case, there could be numerous sources of liability for an apartment fire. All property owners in New York have a legal responsibility to maintain their buildings in a reasonably safe condition. This must be done for the safety of all people whose presence on a property is reasonably foreseeable. As outlined in PJI 2:100, A landlord who rents property to a tenant is required to tell the tenant about any dangerous condition on the property that exists when the tenant takes possession, if the landlord knows or has reason to know of the dangerous condition and the tenant would not be able to discover it upon a reasonable inspection.” When a landlord fails to correct a dangerous condition on a property, they could be liable in the event of an accident.
There are a number of steps that property owners must take in order to prevent, warn against, and help mitigate fires. (1) All apartments must have self closing doors by 2021. (2) Owners of multiple dwellings must post public notices about closing doors when escaping fires. (3) Building exits should not be obstructed by boxes or furniture. (4) Pursuant to the Multiple Dwelling Law § 146, landlords must provide two means of exit from every apartment building. (5) Sprinkler systems and smoke alarms should be installed and periodically checked.
In some cases, liability for an apartment fire could extend to the manufacturer of certain products. Many apartment fires in New York city are due to devices that malfunction. For example, a 9-year-old boy was killed in queens after the battery pack on an e-scooter spontaneously combusted. When a product manufacturer makes a device that it unreasonably dangerous, they could be held at fault through a strict liability or negligence claim. It is crucial that there is a thorough investigation after any apartment fire.
- The source of the fire should be investigated.
- Potential fire code violations should be looked at.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- Maintenance records should be examined.
The family of any person that died in an apartment fire may be able to seek aid through a wrongful death claim. A civil claim can help with the unexpected financial burdens that often come with the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one. Those who survive serious accidents will have recourse as well through a bodily injury claim. A New York City premises liability attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Bronx Apartment Fire
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of all of the victims of this horrific tragedy at Twin Parks Northwest apartments. It is our sincere hope that all of the survivors will be able to make a full recovery. There needs to be some accountability for what happened. Was this apartment complex up to code? Steps should be taken to prevent anything like this from happening again in New York City.
Do you need more information about a New York City apartment fire? There are a lot of resources available to you. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that property owners are taking steps to keep their tenants safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.