A fire can become life-threatening in a matter of minutes, and even a small fire can result in an unthinkable loss.
Unfortunately, in many home fires, victims were fatally injured before the fire department arrived at the scene. Dangerous blazes generally do not just happen. Most of the time, a deadly fire is the result of some form of negligence.
Home fire injuries and home fire deaths occur more often in colder months. Home structure fire injuries are frequently caused by cooking materials, smoking materials, and heating equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Over a five-year period:
- Smoking materials were the primary cause of accidental house fire deaths.
- Cooking equipment was the second-leading cause of home fire deaths and the leading cause of fire injuries.
- Heating equipment was the third-leading cause of fire deaths and the second leading cause of home fire injuries.
Almost three of every five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Only 7% of these occurred in properties equipped with fire sprinklers. Electrical malfunctions, heating equipment failure, or defective products can contribute to severe injuries and wrongful death. If a loved one died due to a home fire, then a Miami wrongful death lawyer can investigate the case and help you pursue the monetary damages that you are legally entitled to. House fires can result in:
There are a variety of fire hazards and risks in your home, and it is essential to stay aware of them to keep you and your family safe. Here are some of the ways that a house fire injury can occur:
Home Fire Injuries Involving Electrical Failure or Defective Gas Systems
- Girl killed in a fire caused by faulty wiring: A girl was trapped in her room by a fire, and her parents were unable to find her due to the heavy smoke. The girl was eventually pulled from her family's burning house but, unfortunately, died later at a local hospital. A State Fire Marshal's Office investigation found that faulty wiring was the cause of the house fire that claimed the young girl's life.
- Woman injured by fireplace explosion linked to a defective gas system: During her time visiting a colleague's home, an open gas fireplace with a glass guard exploded, injuring her severely. The colleague explained that if the pilot light for the unit was not lit, it meant that the gas flow was shut off. Seeing that the pilot light was not lit, the woman bent down in front of the unit to press the ignition button, causing the fireplace to suddenly release an explosive discharge of flames. The glass pane was shattered, and the woman was seriously injured by tiny glass pieces that flew into her face.
- Explosion injuries linked to a corroded gas line: Weeks before the explosion, the owner complained to the utility provider that she repeatedly noticed the smell of natural gas on the lawn and in her home. An investigation into the explosion determined that the gas pipe running underneath the house was more than 100 years old and extensively corroded. The woman suffered severe injuries due to the explosion linked to the corroded gas line under her property.
Home Fire Injuries Involving Cooking Equipment
- Burn injuries caused by fire blamed on defective stove design: A man was cooking dinner in his kitchen when he smelled gas from the top part of his stove, which suddenly burst into flames. Although he attempted to shut off the gas, the fire increased in size, causing him severe burn injuries. Upon later inspection, the probable cause of the fire was a gas leak linked to a defective seal that was in the stove's internal gas lines.
- Young child killed in a home fire caused by a faulty electric oven: The double oven electric range was purchased from a major national retailer, but it would turn on to extremely high temperatures and wouldn't stop. To have the oven fixed, the owner contacted a service repair company in the general region. However, the serviceman who arrived at the plaintiff's home didn't have the necessary skills or parts to provide the needed repairs and left without correcting the issue and disabling the device. Three weeks later, the oven malfunctioned once again, causing a significant house fire that led to the death of the owner's young son.
Home Fire Injuries Involving Dangerous Products
- Woman injured in fire caused by an acetone-based cleaner: A woman was using a cleaning product on the floor of her home when the cleaner suddenly ignited, causing her severe and permanent injuries. A comparable water-based product is also on the market, and it was alleged that the manufacturer did not need to include the flammable compounds in the cleaning product to maintain the cleaner's effectiveness. The woman sustained significant injuries in a fire caused by an acetone-based household cleaning product.
- Fire injuries blamed on defective toy design: A class action was initiated in response to a line of defective and dangerous children's toys. Buyers were not warned of the fire hazard. A circuit board on these toys was negligently and dangerously designed and had a propensity to overheat while the toy was in use or while charging, causing spontaneous ignition of the internal components. In several separate instances, the toys caused extensive injuries after they started to emit:
- Smoke and fumes
- Sparks and flames
- Burn injuries caused by defective clothing iron: A man was using a clothes iron purchased three months before the incident in question. He briefly put the iron down in the upright position and turned his back, but smoke and flames started coming from where the electric cord met the base of the iron. The fire quickly spread to articles of clothing, the dresser, and the bedroom, and the man suffered second-degree burns on both of his arms.
- Death of woman and disfigurement of a child caused by a defectively designed electric blanket: The woman and her young son were using an electric blanket that caught on fire. The woman was killed in the fire, while her young son was severely burned and left with disfigurement. He suffered an anoxic brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen and was expected to require lifetime medical treatment.
Home Fire Injuries Involving Heating Equipment
- Man dies in a house fire caused by a gas-powered space heater: A man was using a space heater to provide supplemental heat to an enclosed porch attached to his home. While the heater was running, he left the porch area to prepare dinner for his family when the heater malfunctioned and sparked a fire that spread from the porch area to the house. The man was killed in the fire.
- Woman and child die in a fire caused by a defective portable heater: A portable electric heater started a fire in a row house, the home of a twenty-three-year-old woman and her husband. The woman tried to save her two brothers and her daughter but died in the fire. Her three-year-old brother also lost his life. Her nine-month-old daughter sustained burns to most of her body and was left severely disfigured. She suffered a severe brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen.
- Burns caused by a dangerous space heater: A restaurant owner was using several space heaters, powered by a small propane cylinder and designed for indoor use to heat an enclosed patio. While working near the output grill of one of the heaters at what she believed to be a safe distance, the back of her clothes ignited. The flames started a small fire behind the bar and caused extensive burns on her skin.
Contact a Miami Home Fire Injury Lawyer
After a home fire tragically causes serious injury or death, insurance adjusters determine whether their policy covers your claim.
Where did the fire start? If a loved one was injured or lost their life due to another person's or entity's negligence, you can rely on our home fire injury attorney and legal team to find answers to complex questions and build a strong wrongful death or personal injury case.
We have access to fire reconstructionists and experts who can analyze the evidence to determine the exact cause and origin of the fire. When a fire explosion involves faulty products, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary has exceptional legal skills and resources to take on big business.