Six people were injured October 8, when an early-morning fire ripped through a condo complex in New Haven, CT. A 61-year-old woman who sustained second and third-degree burns was rushed to The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport, the state’s only burn center. Five other people who suffered smoke inhalation were treated at nearby hospitals.
Smoke inhalation can be very dangerous causing short term and long-term health problems. It’s also the leading cause of fire fatalities.
“The heat of the smoke and the toxic chemicals it contains can irritate the mouth, nose and airways, or damage lung tissue causing asphyxiation.”Attorney Fred Pritzker
The fire at Woodbridge Crossing Condominiums broke out around 4 a.m. Fire department officials say they arrived on scene to find heavy smoke pouring from the two-story building located at 111 Frederick St. In New Haven. It is not clear if the building had fire alarms or fire suppression sprinklers.
Firefighters say smoking materials were the cause of the blaze, which began in a first-floor unit. Smoking materials are the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S., accounting for about one fifth of all home fire fatalities, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Since 2010, an average of 560 people have died annually in residential fires started by smoking materials, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. About a quarter of them were not the person whose smoking materials started the fire. So far this year, 63 smoking-related home fire fatalities have been reported nationwide
A neighbor told WTNH.com that firefighters were tossing oxygen tanks out of one of the units. Medical oxygen can intensify the heat and speed of a fire and should never be kept in the presence of smoking materials, according to the NFPA.
Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within a couple hours. The Red Cross is helping four families who were displaced by the fire.
Attorney Fred Pritzker and our other fire lawsuit lawyers help injured people with lawsuits against building owners, building maintenance companies, gas companies and others.
“I have helped people who suffered severe internal burns and other injuries from smoke inhalation. The damage that can be done by toxic smoke can cause permanent harm, including brain damage and respiratory problems.”Attorney Fred Pritzker