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Twenty People Injured In Fire At NYC’s Rikers Island Jail

Twenty People Injured After Fire Breaks Out At New York City’s Rikers Island Jail

Twenty People Injured In Fire At NYC's Rikers Island Jail

RIKERS ISLAND, NEW YORK (April 15, 2023) – At least 20 people were injured after a fire broke out at the New York City’s troubled Rikers Island Jail.

New York City police officials are saying that the incident began around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. A fire broke out at the jail which sent smoke everywhere.

New York City Fire Department officials arrived at Rikers Island and extinguished the fire. At least fifteen staffed at the jail were injured and taken to the hospital.

Five inmates were also injured in the fire. A full investigation into the fire remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Rikers Island Jail Fires

Despite numerous improvements in fire safety code regulations, fires remain a major source of serious injury and death. According to the National Safety Council, “One- and two-family home fires account for 64.2% of civilian deaths and 54.4% of injuries. Apartment structure fires account for 10.5% of deaths and 21.1% of injuries. For overall home fires, the 2021 rate of 7.9 deaths per 1,000 reported home fires was 11% higher than the rate of 7.1 in 1980.” There are a number of common causes of fires.

  • Lit candles
  • Smoking
  • Electrical accidents
  • Cooking accidents

All property owners in New York have a legal obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. When a property owner has actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition with a property they must take measures to correct that dangerous condition. They must take reasonable precautions to prevent fires which includes adhering to all local fire codes. If a property owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent fires, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. There are many steps that should be taken after any fire.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • The source of the fire should be determined.
  • An experienced personal injury attorney should be consulted.

Many victims of fires suffer long term injuries. For example, smoke inhalation can do long-term damage to a person’s lungs. Any person that is injured in a fire at Rikers Island jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover many of the expenses that come with fire injuries. A personal injury attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A New York City Fire

We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to all of the people injured in this fire at Riker’s Island. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other incidents like this.

Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at the Rikers Island jail? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here for you. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support after a collision we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.


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Jeff Korek

Jeff S. Korek

Senior Trial Partner​

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. in 1992 as the Senior Trial partner. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, Jeff has obtained some of the state’s highest verdicts and settlements.