Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania apartment fire leaves 40 homeless

Apartment building owners are responsible for ensuring that their tenants live in a safe environment. This means being in compliance with building codes and performing regular maintenance checks to ensure that there are no potential dangers to tenants. After all, Pennsylvania renters don't hand over their hard-earned cash each month to live in hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, not all landlords are as good about maintaining buildings as they should be. When buildings are neglected, however, problems can arise.

Yesterday morning, a massive fire erupted at an apartment building in Chester County. The fire set off two alarms, and required firefighters from eight different companies to put it out. Fortunately, none of the tenants were injured in the blaze, but 40 of them are now without a place to live. The local Red Cross has stepped in to help these people.

The cause of this fire was not reported in a news article yesterday. However, this situation could easily be the result of a neglected building. Faulty wiring or another maintenance issue could spark a fire that leaves tenants injured and with no place to live -- if not worse.

Ending up in a situation like this can be extremely frightening. While the residents in this particular situation were spared injuries, a building fire can lead to burns and even brain injury from smoke inhalation. When landlords allow something like this to happen by failing to maintain a building, they should be held accountable. Fortunately, premises liability laws exist to allow a victim to hold a person or company responsible for creating a hazardous environment. If successful, a lawsuit may lead to compensation for a victim.

Source: The News Journal, "Firefighters extinguish two-alarm blaze at Pa. apartments," April 25, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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