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Senior Residents Dealing with Aftermath of Arthur Capper Apartment Complex Fire May Have Rights to Recover Damages

By: Dan Hausman

The senior citizens dealing with the aftermath of the Arthur Capper apartment complex fire are rightfully wondering what comes next. Thankfully, the fire did not claim the life of any of the over 150 residents of the four-story apartment complex for seniors when it raced through the top floors of the building on September 19th. However, many of the tenants of the Arthur Capper complex in Southeast Washington, D.C. have had to take up residence in hotels, homes of friends and family, and temporary housing as the burned building is still off-limits for the former residents. The senior citizens, who are getting antsy in their temporary housing, are ready for a permanent housing solution.

While the residents of Arthur Capper are appropriately concerned with their housing arrangements, there is plenty more to think about when an apartment fire occurs. Residential apartment fires can cause many types of damage beyond displacement of the residents. For example, tenants can face physical injuries such as severe burns, smoke inhalation, broken bones and muscle strains, and sometimes even death. The emotional and mental distress that occurs from facing the harrowing situation of an apartment fire can also have a lasting impact on a person and cause post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, loss of sleep, and depression. Residents often miss work as their lives are thrown into disarray. Personal belongings and other valuables are charred, covered in smoke, or otherwise destroyed. Having one’s home burned down is an awful event that has many consequences that people don’t immediately grasp. Once time passes, residents and tenants are able to realize the immense amount of damage that occurred in their lives.

Residents and tenants dealing with apartment and condominium fires may be entitled to compensation for the damages that resulted from an apartment fire. When an apartment fire occurs, the landlord, management company, gas company, electric company, equipment manufacturer or installer, or a company working onsite as a contractor may have acted in a manner that caused the fire. When an entity knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and failed to use reasonable care to address the issue that led to a foreseeable injury they may be liable for negligent conduct. Additionally, when the entity violated a law meant to protect residents or tenants they also can be held accountable for their negligent action. Residential fires can be caused by a number of reasons, including:

  • Faulty repair work
  • Lack of operational fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Defective electrical wiring or gas piping
  • Defective stoves, hot water heaters, and ovens
  • Flammable chemicals stored improperly
  • Failure to inspect for fire hazards
If you or a loved one is the victim of an apartment fire, you should discuss the event with an attorney who can help determine if you can collect compensation for your losses. You or your loved one may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional injury, costs associated with moving, damaged property, and pain and suffering. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. represents victims throughout Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland, and offers FREE and confidential consultations. Learn more about your rights and how we can help by contacting us online or calling (202) 644-8303.