On Monday, March 27, 2017, a three-story transitional housing building near downtown Oakland was destroyed by a massive fire. Four persons were killed. Four others were hospitalized with smoke inhalation, but were expected to be released. The fire started on the top floor of the building located at 2551 San Pablo Avenue in West Oakland. Fire inspectors reportedly found 11 glaring safety violations just three days earlier.
Firefighters were called to the building at 5:40 a.m., and the fire grew to four alarms by 6:15 a.m. The roof and the walls became dangerously unstable and firefighters were forced out of the building. They battled the blaze from truck ladders, spraying water onto the roof and through windows. Several residents had to be rescued from the roof.
The East Bay Express reports that the building has a long and recent history of code violations. Over the last decade, the city has received 20 complaints from pest infestation, electrical issues, mold, trash, graffiti, floors caving in, roof leaks and other blight issues. In December 2017, a complaint filed with the City of Oakland alleging that there was no working heat in the building, and that there were “electrical issues” and a large pest infestation.
On March 2, 2017, the Urojas Community Services group complained to the city that the building suffers from “deferred maintenance” by the landlord. Urojas leases space in the building to run a substance abuse treatment center and transitional housing. Urojas requested an inspection of the facility by code enforcement. The city verified the alleged violations, the East Bay Times reports. The violations reportedly included units lacking smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, a malfunctioning sprinkler system and a series of extension cords.
Three people are confirmed dead, including 64-year-old Edwarn Anderson, who is the only one so far to be identified by the coroner. A fourth person remains missing and is feared dead, as KRON 4 reports.
Apartment Owners Are Responsible For Dangerous Conditions
Landlords, business and private property owners owe a duty to residents, customers and visitors to maintain their property in a safe condition and warn of any dangers on the property.
California law requires all owners and managers to maintain their properties in a safe condition and warn of any dangers. California Civil Code § 1714(a) states, “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”
Free Case Review From A Premises Liability Attorney At The Dolan Law Firm
An individual may bring a “premises liability” lawsuit against a property owner who fails to meet this standard and seek compensation for his or her injuries. Surviving family members of an individual who died may also bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
The premises liability lawyers of the Dolan Law Firm are dedicated to getting you the best result possible. Our premises liability attorneys have achieved some of the highest verdicts and settlements in California for people who have been injured because of dangerous property conditions.
- $2.4 million settlement for a 72-year-old woman who suffered a cervical fracture that led to complete paralysis (quadriplegia) after tripping on uneven sidewalk that was poorly maintained by the City and County of San Francisco.
- $2.25 million settlement with the City and County of San Francisco on behalf of a women who suffered a spinal fracture and other significant, permanent injuries as a result of falling at the Palace of Fine Arts rotunda on terraced planters that appear to be steps and lacked hand railings.
- $175,000 settlement for a San Francisco renter who was injured when a stair gave way as she descended an old staircase.
We do not charge a fee unless we recover damages so you have nothing to lose by talking with a lawyer about your case. Submit your case online or call us at 415-636-8160. We have offices in Oakland, San Francisco and Marin.