Every day the news seems to get more and more frightening as wildfires consume so much of our lovely state. Our thoughts are with those who’ve been impacted by the fires and our thanks go out to all the men and women working to keep Californians safe and limit property damage. While wildfires are, with good reason, the top fire-related headline at the moment, it is important to remember that other types of fires are always a concern. As people in Guerneville and the surrounding areas were reminded this week, electrical fires are a real threat. When an electrical fire causes injuries or death and the blaze can be traced to the negligence or wrongdoing of a person or entity, our Santa Rosa fire injury lawyer is prepared to fight for those affected using civil personal injury and/or wrongful death law.
Blaze that Consumed Shop in Guerneville Blamed on Electrical Transformer
The Press Democrat reports that a fire destroyed much of the Odd Fellows Recreation Club’s store located on the 13500 block of Riverside Drive. The store is part of Odd Fellows Park, a private, limited-admission facility east of Guerneville encompassing 317 acres with campsites and a Russian River beach. Fire broke out around 9:30 P.M. on Tuesday night and by 11 P.M. flames had gutted much of the structure. Firefighters from at least seven fire agencies worked to extinguish the blaze which may have been ignited by a blown electrical transformer. The paper does not mention any injuries, although it does not specifically state no injuries occurred.
Electrical Fire Statistics
In a 2013 report, the National Fire Protection Association indicates that approximately 47,700 home structure fires and 16,400 non-home structure fires reported to fire departments in the U.S. during 2011 involved an electrical failure or malfunction contributing to ignition. Taken together, residential and non-residential electrical fires claimed the lives of 431 civilians and injured 1,813 civilians in 2011. These numbers do not include fires where electrical equipment only provided the heat that led to ignition such as where a hot iron caused flammable fabric to ignite. Fires involving an electrical failure or malfunction represent 74% of all home structure fires involving electrical or lighting equipment.
When equipment as a heat source is included, electrical distribution and lighting equipment were the fourth leading cause of home structure fires from 2007 to 2011. Including electrical equipment as a heat source, the items that sparked the most home structure electrical fires in the 2007-2011 timeframe were: Wiring and related equipment (63%); Cords and plugs (11%); and Transformers and other power supplies (6%). Interestingly, while cords and plugs accounted for 11% of home electrical distribution or lighting equipment fires, they were linked to 30% of civilian deaths and 21% of civilian injuries.
Accountability & Compensation
At the Brod Law Firm, we represent people injured in electrical fires and other blazes that can be traced to someone else’s negligent or wrongful acts. Examples might include a fire that started because of a shoddy repair job on an electric generator or a fire that started because a landlord failed to respond to tenant complaints about a frayed wire in a common area. These cases can involve traditional negligence theories and can also involve landlord/tenant law, product liability and premises liability principles.
If you have been injured or lost a close family member in an electrical fire or other blaze and you believe someone else is to blame, call us at (800) 427-7020 to discuss your legal rights. Our Northern California fire injury attorney has offices in Sonoma County, San Francisco, and Oakland to serve your legal needs.
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(Image by Rachel Kramer)