There have been several fires in Philadelphia this last week, and one of them ended in a fatality.
In the early morning hours of Friday, November 7, 2014, firefighters responded to reports of smoke and fire at the Dillard House on the 3000 block of North 22nd Street in Philadelphia. Firefighters found a 57 year old man on the third floor of the building, which is part of the Alliance of Youth Mission Ministries. The organization helps the disadvantaged, homeless and displaced vets. 23 other people were displaced as a result of the fire.
Just a few hours before the fire at the shelter, there was another fire in a West Philly high-rise apartment building that displaced many residents. Fortunately, there were no reports of any injuries in this fire.
On November 1, 2014, there was a fire in a three story house on the 3000 block of Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia. One person was injured and was treated at Temple Hospital.
Though all 3 fires in Philadelphia are currently under investigation, there is a question of whether the smoke alarms were working properly in the North Philly building.
The purpose of fire alarms is to warn people inside a building or home that there is a fire. Residents would immediately leave the building once the alarm sounds before the fire gets out of control. If fire alarms do not work properly, i.e., sound alarms when there is smoke in the building, people inside the building can get injured or even die, like the man living in the shelter in North Philly.
In cases where the fire alarms do not work properly, the family of the deceased man or injured parties have legal rights and may be able to receive financial compensation from the parties responsible for the fire alarms' failure.
In apartment buildings, the landlord is responsible for making sure fire alarms are in proper working condition in common areas. In addition, depending on the lease between the landlord and tenants, the fire alarms inside the apartments may also be the landlord's responsibility. Therefore, the landlord is supposed to check and make sure that the fire alarms are working. If the landlord does not check the alarms in the building and a fire breaks out and injures tenants, the landlord may be responsible for the tenants' injuries and damages.
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