WEDGWOOD FIRE UPDATE
It is now understood that the fire loss that occurred at Wedgwood Apartments on December 28, 2014, will go down in history as one of 20 worst high-rise fire tragedies in U.S. History.
We now also understand that the extent of the injuries and death at Wedgwood could have been avoided, if specific and somewhat relatively basic precautions would have been made, by management or the owners of Wedgwood.
At this point in time, the Carabin Shaw Law Firm and Wyatt Firm, working together, represent over 50 of the residents of the Wedgwood Senior Living Apartments concerning injuries and damages caused by this fire.
We now understand what steps could have been taken by the owners and management that would have eliminated or greatly reduced the extent of injuries and death, these steps include, but are not limited to:
1. Having a comprehensive evacuation plan that assessed the resident’s individual needs, including those that were immobile or unable to navigate the stairwells;
2. Having smoke and fire alarms that were in proper working order;
3. Properly maintaining and/or repairing the building to prevent thick, black smoke from building up in the common hallways and stairwells; and
4. Having management controls in place so that unthinkable fire alarm operational issues did not occur on the morning of the fire, greatly increasing the time between the fire and rescue efforts.
It is important to understand that some of the residents were trapped within the building for over three hours after the outbreak of the fire because these residents were unable to escape.
Many of our clients still remain in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Additionally, a substantial portion of the residents continue to experience a variety of health-related issues from the smoke inhalation, including compromised respiratory systems.
The building owners and management are currently finalizing and coordinating the scheduling of the retrieval of the tenants most personal effects. Despite our efforts, major delays were encountered, due in part, to discovery of asbestos that compromised the air quality in the building.
In conclusion, the investigation by the fire investigators allowed for us to better represent our clients and to better understand how and why this fire reached the level of being one of the most deadly high-rise fires in U.S. History.
During the month of January 2015 we have retained some of the very best fire, building code, construction and toxicology experts to provide insight and guidance as to what went wrong at Wedgwood. We now believe that through our experts and our coordinated efforts with them are key to bringing swift justice in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy.
For more information call 210-222-2288.