Last December, nine people lost their homes and belongings because of a fire that occurred in a Southwest Las Vegas apartment complex on a Sunday evening. According to a statement by the Clark County Fire Department (CCFD), smoke began to fill the inside of an apartment located on South Durango Drive on a Sunday evening. Authorities identified the cause of the fire as an electrical short within a wall in the apartment, and notably, the building had a history of fires in a wall of the complex. While no one was hurt in the fire, and the flames did not extend into other apartments, nine people from two different families were displaced, according to the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada. The estimated damages totaled $300,000.00.
At a minimum, an apartment fire is an inconvenience for the tenants and landlord. Personal property can be damaged, tenants can be displaced, and repair to the apartment can be expensive. At worst, individuals who are at the scene when the fire erupts can be hurt or even killed. While the parties involved try to get back to normal, the costs—financially, emotionally, and physically—only continue to increase as time goes by. Establishing fault is a critical component of successfully obtaining monetary compensation for harm suffered in an apartment fire.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt or suffered property loss due to a Las Vegas apartment fire, contact an experienced Nevada personal injury attorney.
An apartment fire is a terrifying thought, particularly when flames engulf a multi-unit residential complex. It is common for home fires to begin when a tenant is simply performing everyday tasks. Sometimes, the cause of an apartment fire can be unseen to the naked eye. Examples of common reasons behind home fires include:
- Smoking or candles;
- Faulty electrical wiring;
- Cooking or electrical equipment;
- Portable heaters;
- Lighting issues;
- Candle flames;
- Cooking issues.
Sometimes, however, the cause of an apartment fire is due to the negligence of the landlord.
When a landlord behaves without due regard for the consequences of those actions, negligence has occurred. Negligence can happen because of an action or the failure to act. A landlord owes a duty of care to the tenants to keep the residence habitable and livable. Part of the benefit of renting is that the landlord, not the tenant, is responsible for maintaining the property. If a landlord fails to meet the duty of care, a harmed tenant may seek monetary compensation for harm suffered.
To succeed in a claim for damages, a victim-tenant must show that the landlord:
- Owed the tenant a duty of care,
- That duty was breached by the landlord’s actions or inactions,
- The landlord’s breach was the cause of the harm; and
- The tenant suffered damages as a result.
A landlord may be financially and legally liable for an apartment fire under the following circumstances:
- Faulty wiring on the property;
- Failing to meet building code requirements;
- Overcrowding the premises;
- Failing to install or maintain smoke detectors;
- Failing to have or maintain fire extinguishers on the premises;
- Blocking fire exits;
- Failing to install or maintain fire or smoke alarm systems.
Landlords are responsible under the law for providing appropriate safety equipment on the tenant’s property to prevent fire injuries or fatalities.
Injured in an Apartment Fire? Call H&P Law
Nevada apartment fires can result in serious injuries or even death in addition to property damage and financial loss. If you or someone you know has suffered an apartment fire injury, you may be owed monetary compensation. Call H&P Law today at (702) 598-4529 for your initial case evaluation.