College Park, Georgia News
Safety measures are under scrutiny after four people were injured during an early morning fire “at the Lakeside Reserve Apartments,” January 4, 2019, according to WSBTV 2.
College Park Fire Chief Wade Elmore told the Athens Banner-Herald, “a woman and her son had to jump out of a window to escape flames that engulfed an apartment building.” Residents told emergency responders “the breezeway was on fire and they couldn’t get out of their front doors.” At least four people suffered injuries trying to escape. Their identities and current conditions have not been released.
Our Legal Take
As the fire department continues its investigation, premises liability attorneys with The Murray Law Firm question whether a lack emergency evacuation procedures and fire safety measures at the complex may have contributed to this incident.
- When was the last fire inspection and emergency evacuation drill performed?
- What fire safety measures, such as working smoke detectors, fire sprinklers and emergency exits, were in place and working at the time of the fire?
- Media reports indicate residents were unable to evacuate through their front doors. Were emergency exits accessible and clearly marked at the time of the fire?
As details of this fire continue to emerge, The Murray Law Firm suggests that it is possible that the Lakeside Reserve apartment complex failed to undertake proper safety measures to protect those residents and guests legally on the premises. Under Georgia law, the owner and management company of an apartment complex have a duty to protect residents and to keep the premises safe. If the owner or manager fails in this duty, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths that occur as a consequence.
Should the Lakeside Reserve apartment complex be found at fault, the victims may elect to hold the owner and management company civilly liable for their injuries. Financial recovery for such a claim could be substantial.
As insurance companies and unscrupulous property owners are often more concerned with limiting their financial exposure in these incidents, it is crucial that the victims retain an experienced premises liability firm as soon as possible to ensure all evidence, such as a faulty fire alarm or a poor evacuation plan, is preserved and the victims’ best interests are protected. The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in premises liability and apartment negligence cases, such as this, and we offer our legal expertise, if needed.
If anyone has information to share, or if anyone is seeking information regarding this incident, please contact us at 404.842.1600.
The Murray Law Firm has obtained over $100 million dollars for its Clients in Georgia, and recently secured a $29.25 million dollar verdict for a victim of an unsafe property.
We represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us via e-mail (click here) or by telephone at CALL NOW: 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.