Abe Sitting
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Fire and Smoke Injuries Attorneys

  • Billions of dollars recovered for our clients
  • Over 300 years of combined experience
  • Hundreds of positive reviews
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Every year, there are tenants who suffer burn-related injuries due to fires which occur within the home or apartment they live in. Unfortunately, burn injuries are often quite severe, and may require skin grafts, reconstructive surgery and a long period of physical therapy. The financial impact of a burn injury can be quite substantial, not to mention the pain and suffering and scarring involved.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a fire, or experienced any loss or injury resulting from a fire or explosion, you should be aware of your legal rights. The fire may have been the result of negligence on the part of your landlord or of another person, such as a commercial entity or another tenant in the building, and you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.

A tenant has certain rights and a landlord has certain obligations to provide for your safety in case of a fire.

For example, under the law in New York, your landlord must provide you with:

Self-Closing Doors:

For your safety, in the event of a fire, the law in New York requires that your apartment must be equipped with a self-closing door, which means that the door closes by itself. Proper functioning of your apartment’s self-closing entrance door is crucial in preventing a fire from spreading from one location to another. This means that your doors must not only be equipped with properly working self-closing door devices but that they must also be inspected, repaired and maintained by your landlord on a regular basis so that they continue to work properly.

Unfortunately, the fact is, when people are rushing out of their apartments to escape the smoke, fumes and flames from a fire, they do not stop to close their door, resulting in the fire spreading. That is why properly operating self-closing door devices are so important.

Having a door that closes automatically helps save lives by preventing the spread of the fire. Many fires are caused to spread because of defective self-closing doors. When tenants first smell smoke or hear a smoke alarm their natural reaction is to open their windows for fresh air and then to open their apartment door to look into the hall. Whether they then decide to go back into the apartment, or try to leave the building, the apartment door should automatically close to avoid the fire from spreading, whether into or out of the apartment.

In apartment buildings there are also rules for the proper operation of exit and entrance doors to the building.

If you were the victim of a fire, which were caused or contributed to by a defective self-closing door device then you may be entitled to recover compensation for the suffering which you have endured.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors:

Your landlord has an obligation to provide approved operational smoke and carbon monoxide detecting devices in each apartment. The detectors must be clearly audible in the entire apartment.


All residences in New York City are required to have two means of egress, or exits. In the event of a fire or other emergency, tenants must have access to another means of leaving the building, should the primary exit become blocked. The Landlord is required to provide you with two means of exit from every apartment in the building.

Fire Escapes:

The Landlord must provide ready access to a fire-escape from each apartment. This means that fire escapes cannot be blocked by illegal walls, gates or other objects.

The firm of Jaroslawicz & Jaros has successfully handled many cases involving burns suffered as a result of faulty or missing self-closing doors, sprinkler systems, heating systems, cooking appliances, extinguishing systems, arson and many other cases involving negligence of both commercial and residential premises.

In a leading fire case, a woman was injured while staying in a New York City high rise Hilton hotel when, after she smelled smoke and heard sirens, she was forced to walk down over thirty (30) flights of stairs resulting in a clot in her leg. We obtained a Plaintiff’s verdict from the jury after the court found that dismissal of hotel guests’ negligence action against the hotel as a matter of law was improper where evidence received at trial raised questions of fact as to the hotel’s liability. Jaroslawicz & Jaros wrote the brief and argued before the highest court in the State of New York, the New York Court of Appeals, in the case of Taieb v. Hilton Hotels Corp., Appellate Division, First Department, 131 A.D.2d 257; 520 N.Y.S.2d 776; Court of Appeals of New York, 60 N.Y.2d 725; 456 N.E.2d 1197; 469 N.Y.S.2d 74.

We were successful in obtaining substantial compensation when we were able to prove that the fire started due to the buildup of lint in a linen closet chute that had not been properly cleaned.

At Jaroslawicz & Jaros we recently obtained a $2 Million settlement for tenants who were injured in a fire as the smoke detectors were not functioning.

Our firm also litigated a jury trial where the tenants were awarded $6 Million for their burn injuries as the self-closing door devices were not working properly.

Some of the various fire and burn cases Jaroslawicz & Jaros has successfully handled:

  • A fire caused by a tenant in an apartment building due to an improperly placed candle that caused property and fire damage to our client’s building.
  • Tenants who suffered personal injuries or death due to improperly working self-closing door devices and open exit doors.
  • A tenant who was injured and suffered serious burns when she slipped as a result of a leak in her kitchen and a pot of hot water fell on her.
  • A child that was injured and suffered serious burns when a pot of boiling hot water fell on her when the stove tipped over as a result of a heavy pot being placed on the open oven door. Jaroslawicz & Jaros successfully brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the stove for not having the stove properly balanced and secured from tipping over.
  • A young girl who suffered burns to her chest when she came too close to a stove and her blouse went up in flames. Jaroslawicz & Jaros successfully brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the blouse for using a fabric that was too flammable.
  • A young man on a date who suffered burns to his back when his shirt caught fire as a result of coming too close to a candle left on a shelf in a hotel bar area.
  • A young model that was burned when a stereo at a barbeque exploded causing burns to her chest area.
  • A young man was injured at a party when the fire in a “fire table" on a terrace flashed back and he was burned on his legs.

In bringing a case for compensation for injuries suffered as a result of a fire it is important to hire a firm with experience in this area of the law and knows how to conduct the proper investigation, how to obtain the fire and police department records and reports as well as building department plans and records, and also knows how to hire and work with the right experts for your case.

If you or a family member were seriously injured in a fire, contact the experienced attorneys of Jaroslawicz & Jaros. For over 40 years, the lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have successfully represented many people who have been injured by fires.

Get the advice and guidance you and your family need

You do not have to go through this alone.

At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in New York recover compensation. The clients we represent benefit from the personal attention of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.

We Have Recovered Over $2 Billion for Our Clients.

The attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have obtained verdicts and settlements of over $1 Million for hundreds of our individual clients. Since all New York personal injury law firms generally charge the same legal fee why not hire an experienced law firm with a proven track record?

When you retain the New York City accident lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros, you will always work directly with your lawyer, and not with a paralegal or secretary. We will always be available to you! Our hundreds of positive client reviews and testimonials speak for themselves.

Experience and a track record of results

Contact the attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros for a free legal consultation regarding your rights and your legal options. If we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis so that you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs.

Contact us today for a free consultation

Picture of Abraham Jaros

You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at ajaros@lawjaros.com. Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.