An early-morning fire on Friday, February 7, 2020, that was allegedly started by a space heater left one person dead and at least seven other suffering from a variety of injuries. The Venice Hotel, located in Mid-City, was the scene of the unfortunate incident.
The fire department responded to the scene of the fiery two-story hotel at approximately 2 a.m. The Venice Hotel is located on the 8600 block of Venice Boulevard.
Upon arriving on the scene, firefighters observed that fire and smoke filled the first floor of the building. More in-depth footage, specifically aerial footage, showed that the flames also engulfed the second floor; in fact, the flames burned through some parts of the ceiling.
Residents were desperate to escape the flames; some residents were so desperate that they were exiting out of their windows. Firefighters quickly addressed the situation, some helped residents evacuate the premises while others tackled the flames. After approximately 40 minutes, the fire was extinguished; it took the efforts of more than 100 firefighters to address the fire.
As mentioned above, one person died because of the fire. The deceased victim, who was identified as 62-year-old Paul Bisland, was found inside the Venice Hotel and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Many others were injured. One man suffered critical injuries, and his condition in unchanged. Two other victims, a man and a woman, were transported to local hospitals in grave condition; their condition has been updated to serious. One man was listed to be in fair condition. Another man denied transportation to a local hospital and was assessed at the scene for a minor injury. Another woman was transported via a private vehicle to a local hospital after either jumping or falling from her second-story window; her condition is serious, but a recovery is expected. A firefighter was also injured; he suffered from respiratory issues, albeit non-life threatening.
According to the fire department, the fire was ignited because of a space heater; specifically, the constant heat emitted by the space heater ignited combustible materials that were too close to the heater.
Although the fire has been determined to be accidental, the community – especially the victims who were displaced – have been left with many questions. Could the fire have been prevented? Did the hotel owner contribute to the extent of the harm/damages suffered in any way? Could the hotel owner have done anything to reduce the risk of a fire on the premises? Was the hotel equipped wit a smoke alarm, fire alarm, or sprinkler system? Did the hotel have clear fire exits or escape routes?
As mentioned above, the fire has been determined to have been accidental; however, it is possible that the negligent actions of a party or entity contributed to the incident. If you suspect that the fire was a result of the negligence of a hotel or motel owner, you should explore the possibility of taking legal action.
If you or a member of your family were harmed in the fire discussed above (or any other similar incident), do not hesitate to seek legal assistance immediately as you might have grounds to sue. To learn more about the possibility of taking legal action for the harm that you or a family member suffered, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling all sorts of claims, hotel fire incident claims are no exception. If you would like to explore the possibility of pursuing a claim for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm immediately. Our lawyers are ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the guidance necessary to help you proceed legally.
The Dangers Associated with Fires
Fires could cause extensive harm. Undeniable, burn injuries are the most common types of injuries associated with fires. Burn injuries range in degrees; third-degree burns and fourth-degree burns, are very common and can lead to loss of function, loss of feeling, and even amputations. In the most severe cases, the burn injury reaches the bone and the bone is charred. Burn injuries can be fatal. Smoke inhalation injuries are also common. The inhalation of the hot fumes and gases could severely affect the respiratory system; in fact, the inhalation of hot fumes could result in internal burns. Smoke inhalation could also lead to oxygen deprivation, which can cause brain damage and death.
In many cases, victims are injured trying to escape the fire. In the incident discussed above, in specific, victims were harmed after making the decision to jump from their windows. Falls from even a second-story window can result in significant injuries, including but not limited to broken bones.
Property damage is also possible. Typically, hotel and motel guests only have their luggage with them; therefore, property damage might be limited. However, community hotels such as the one involved in the incident mentioned above, often offer long-term stays. Long-term residents often have more of their personal belongings on the premises; therefore, their property damage is likely to be more significant.
Regardless of specifics, fires can be dangerous and result in significant harm as well as losses. If you or a member of your family was affected by a fire at a hotel, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance immediately as you might have grounds to pursue a claim.
Who is liable for hotel fires? Who can be held accountable for the harm or losses resulting from hotel fires? Liability depends on the specific details surrounding the incidents. Considering that hotel and motel owners owe their guests a specific duty of care (the duty to promote guest safety while on the premises), hotel and motel owners could be held liable – given that they directly contributed to the harm caused by the incident.
In many cases, hotel owners fail to address the hazards present on their premises; this failure represents a breached duty of care. Some of the potential hazards present in hotels and could make the hotel owner liable for any harm associated with a fire includes the following:
- The space heater is locked to a small table (like most small appliances in hotels/motels) that is too close to flammable material. The space heater cannot be moved or used in a different location. The flammable material is exposed to the constant heat emitted from the heater whenever it is in use.
- The hotel rooms do not have any smoke detectors. Hotel owners must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990, for instance, requires that hotels/motels have smoke detectors in each room. Smoke detectors are useful in warning hotel/motel guests of the smoke and fire, giving them time to exit the property.
- There are no emergency exit plans. Both floorplan information and emergency exit plan information must be made available to guests. When hotel owners fail to provide guests this information, they are increasing the risk of harm in the case of fire as guests will not know the proper escape routes necessary for a prompt exit of the premises.
- The emergency exits or pathways to the emergency exits are blocked off. Hotel owners must always keep emergency exits as well as the pathways leading to the exits clear of any debris, blockages (including stacked boxes, cleaning equipment, etc.), and unlocked. If emergency exits and pathways are not accessible, guests could be trapped and unable to leave the flaming premises.
All the possible hazards listed above are things that hotel owners should have been aware of after routine inspections of the premises. Ultimately, if the negligent actions of a hotel owner directly contributed to the harm/losses suffered, the hotel owner could be liable.
If you would like to learn more about liability in hotel fire incidents, do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately. Our experienced attorneys are ready to provide you with all the information that you need to better understand liability and the possibility of taking legal action.
You Could Sue and Receive Compensation
Based on the details surrounding the incident, you might have grounds to sue the hotel owner – given that the hotel owner’s negligence contributed to the incident and the harm or losses that you suffered. Depending on the details surrounding your claim, you might also be eligible to recover compensation; specifically, if your claim reaches a successful outcome, you could be compensated.
How much compensation could you possibly recover? What type of compensation could you be awarded? Based on your claim’s details, you could be eligible to receive some of the following forms of compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
- Relocation expenses
- Legal fees
To learn more about the type and amount of compensation that you could be eligible to recover if you successfully file a claim after being affected by a hotel fire, do not hesitate to contact our experts at your earliest convenience. Our lawyers are ready to fight for your right to recover the compensation to which you are entitled. Do not hesitate to contact the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group at your earliest convenience for more information.
Filing Your Claim Promptly
As explained above, you might have grounds to take legal action for the damages suffered. However, affected parties have a limited length of time to take legal action; if they fail to file their claims on time, they could lose their right to sue. This is due to statutes of limitations. All claims are subject to a statute of limitations which determines the specific length of time that claimants have to sue. If claimants fail to file on time, they will simply lose their right to sue. The statute of limitations establishes a strict deadline; however, certain exceptions could apply. Therefore, it is essential that you seek legal assistance immediately to learn more about the time that you have to sue.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
If you or a member of your family were harmed in a hotel fire, you might have grounds to take legal action, especially if the harm that you suffered could be associated with the negligent actions of a hotel owner. If you would like to explore the possibility of taking legal action against a hotel after you and your family were harmed by a hotel fire, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance immediately.
You can trust the fire incident experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group. Our experts have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims, even those arising from fire incidents. When you contact our experts, you can be certain that you will have access to the legal assistance that you need to take legal action against the party or entity liable for the harm that you suffered.
In fact, our firm is dedicated to remaining accessible to all and providing all affected parties with legal representation. Therefore, our firm offers free legal services. Our free legal services include free consultations and free second opinions, during which our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions and address all your concerns. If you would like to benefit from our free legal services, do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately.
Our firm is based on a Zero-Fee guarantee that ensures that our clients will not be required to pay any upfront legal expenses. Our firm is also based on a strict contingency structure, meaning that clients will not be required to pay any legal fees until after reaching a successful claim outcome.
Are you ready to explore the possibility of pursuing a claim with the experts at our firm? If so, do not hesitate to contact Downtown L.A. Law Group today.