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Getting Compensation for Injury and Death Due to Rapid Fire Progress and Being Lost Inside a Building

Reputable NYC attorneys fight for injured firefighters and grieving families

Two of the most frightening scenarios for firefighters are a rapidly progressing fire and being lost inside a burning structure. Firefighters wearing personal protective equipment are now able to get deeper into a fire than ever before, making them much more vulnerable to rapid spread. Our attorneys at Barasch & McGarry appreciate the heroism of firefighters who do their job without hesitation. We’re here to provide aggressive advocacy when firefighters sustain serious or fatal injuries while working to protect the public.

What causes rapid fire progress?

To survive on the job, firefighters must understand how fires behave and anticipate the likelihood of certain phenomena that can accelerate a fire’s spread. Causes of rapid fire progress include:

  • Backdraft — A fire which has consumed all available oxygen suddenly explodes when a new source of oxygen is introduced. The catalyst for the explosion is often a newly opened window or door. Shock waves from the explosion deliver concussive force, injuring firefighters and further compromising the integrity of the burning structure. Fire and deadly, superheated smoke expand throughout the structure.
  • Flashover — A phenomenon where all combustible materials within a confined space ignite simultaneously. Flashovers have become more common in the last several decades due to the increased use of carbon-based interior furnishings that burn faster and produce more smoke, and better insulating windows that retain the heat until the room temperature reaches the point of ignition.
  • Rollover — The ignition of gases in the upper ceiling area, often the immediate precursor to a flashover.

Despite the fact that firefighters are trained to recognize, mitigate and survive these thermal phenomena, they must execute those skills in an unfamiliar and chaotic environment. Unfortunately, landlord or tenant negligence often makes the firefighters’ tasks more difficult.

Establishing fault for rapid fire spread injury and death

Rapidly spreading fire can result in smoke inhalation injuries, severe burns and even the death of a firefighter. But depending on the circumstances of the fire, a firefighter or his family may be able to sue for compensation. For example, if a landlord was storing combustible materials in violation of the law, the firefighter could sue under General Municipal Law § 205-a. If the landlord was negligent about maintaining the premises and failed to repair a hazard that trapped the firefighter inside the building, the firefighter might be able to sue under General Obligations Law § 11-106.

We thoroughly investigate the facts of your fire with help from qualified forensic experts. We evaluate your case, then fight aggressively for the best results possible.

If you’ve been hurt in a rapidly spreading fire, contact our NYC firefighter lawyers

Barasch & McGarry is a leading advocate for FDNY firefighters, and we’ve recovered billions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Take advantage of a free consultation, and learn if you have the right to be compensated for your loss. Call us at 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.


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