Fires that start in homes are extremely dangerous. Not only can they cause substantial fire damage to your property, but they can also result in serious and sometimes fatal bodily injury. According to a recent article in the Tampa Bay Times, an apartment building fire in Hillsborough County has left 13 residents without a home, two residents with injuries requiring medical treatment, and at least two apartments with irreparably heavy property damage caused by the fire. How did the fire start? And what should you do if your apartment sustains fire damage?
Late Afternoon Fire Damages Tampa Apartment Building
One of the dangers of living in an apartment building is that you cannot control the actions of other people living in separate units. Indeed, if a resident in a different unit is careless and, as a result of negligent behavior causes a fire, your home could sustain substantial damage. In the incident recently reported by the Tampa Bay Times, a resident in one unit is alleged to have “left something she was cooking on the stove,” according to the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Division Chief Michael Guincho.
As Guincho explains, the fire caused significant damage to the two-story building located in the northeast part of the city. As an off-campus housing website for the University of South Florida (USF) highlights, many apartment renters in this part of Tampa are undergraduate or graduate students at the university.
While no firefighters or residents of the apartment building suffered injuries-everyone who lived in the four-unit complex was able to get out of the structure in time-two bystanders did get hurt and were treated for breathing problems and chest pain. While there were no serious physical injuries, the building sustained what may be irreparable damage. Two of the four units are reported to have considerable damage throughout, while the remaining two units sustained both smoke damage and water damage. While many people do not consider the risks of water damage from a fire, many homes and possessions sustain significant damage as a result of sprinkler systems or the efforts of firefighters to quell the blaze. The Hillsborough and Temple Terrace fire departments were able to control the fire within 30 minutes after arriving on the scene.
Apartment Structure Fire Facts
How often do apartment fires happen? The following are some figures contained in a fact sheet provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
- Over the last 30 years, the total number of apartment structure fires has generally declined;
- In the last three decades, while the total number of apartment fires has declined, the total cost in direct property damages has risen by hundreds of millions of dollars;
- Between 2009 and 2013, the total number of apartment structure fires rose by almost 10,000 incidents annually;
- Between those same years, however (2009-2013), the total number of injuries and fatalities in apartment fires dropped; and
- In 2013, the last year from which the NFPA reported data, more than $1.6 million in property damage was reported from apartment structure fires.
Contact a West Central Florida Fire Damage Lawyer
If your home or apartment recently sustained fire damage, you should be planning to file a claim. An experienced West Central Florida fire damage lawyer can assist you. Contact the Valrico Law Group today to learn more about your options.