Articles Posted in Fire Injuries

dawn-armfield-66060-copy-300x225In October of 2016, a fire broke out in a warehouse in Oakland, California. The warehouse, known as Ghost Ship, had been converted into an artist collective and was illegally home to numerous people. At the time of the fire, the warehouse was hosting a concert with about 50 guests. 36 people were killed. Now, two tenants of the warehouse have been arrested and charged with crimes in relation to the fire.

The Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire

Investigators could not determine the exact cause of the fire, which began on the first floor at around 11:20 p.m., however it is speculated that it may have begun with an electrical appliance. Investigators could pinpoint numerous factors that led to the significant number of fatalities. The warehouse did not have smoke detectors or any fire suppression system, like sprinklers. There were only two stairways in the warehouse and neither led to a direct exit out of the building. One of the stairways was built from stacked wooden pallets, which meant it likely began to burn while visitors and residents were attempting to escape. Additionally, because the dwellings within the warehouse were homemade out of random materials and were not organized with straight hallways, it was difficult for visitors to navigate the warehouse and find an exit.

Yearswildfire ago, if you asked someone to name the biggest meteorological threat facing California, they would probably have answered “earthquakes” without a second thought.  In recent years, however, two closely-related threats have risen to the top of the list – drought and wildfire.  Given the “wild” moniker, many people assume that they have little or no legal rights when a wildfire causes damage, injury, or loss of life.  This is not necessarily true and our California wildfire attorney helps ensure that wildfire injury victims recover money from insurers and, when there is a human cause, from those responsible for the blaze.

Wildfire Roars through Lake County

On Monday, San Jose Mercury News reported on a wildfire that is roaring through parts of Northern California.  The Lower Lake Fire, broke out on Saturday and quickly grew to cover 5 square miles, aided wildfirefightersby winds, bone-dry vegetation, and soaring temperatures that hindered firefighters’ efforts.  After seeming to calm later Saturday, wind gusts kicked up flames again on Sunday and the fire tore into parts of Lower Lake, a town of 1,200 located some 90 miles north of San Francisco.  Fire officials compared the blaze to a wave of water pouring over the city.  More than 100 homes were destroyed over the weekend and Cal Fire said thousands remain in the threat zone.

Many of us recall fire safety education that included the advice that you drop to the floor and crawl in the event of a significant blaze.  The reason behind the advice — Smoke inhalation is one of the biggest dangers in any fire and smoke rises.  Whether it is a home fire or a wildfire, smoke is always a threat.  When a fire is caused or exacerbated by human negligence (or all-out wrongdoing), victims of smoke inhalation in Northern and Central California can count on our San Francisco fire injury law firm for help recovering compensation for their injuries.

Doctors Report on the Danger of Smoke Inhalation from California Wildfires

wildfire2The dangers of smoke inhalation are becoming far too real for some California residents as our state faces yet another wildfire.  ABC7 reports that smoke from the Soberanes Fire in Monterey County has begun drifting north into San Jose and the South Bay area.  According to the article, doctors have been seeing an increase in patients complaining of eye and airway irritation as the haze has moved into the area.  One asthma specialist explains how the particulate matter in smoke impacts the lungs: “These are the small areas of the lungs, and the particulate matter can actually get down into the small airways of the lung and can cause asthma, mucous overproduction, wheezing, and can even cause decreased oxygenation to the blood.”

poisonBreathing is one of the most fundamental life-sustaining activities and one we typically do with very little forethought.  A fresh breath of air can not only nourish our bodies, but also center our minds.  Yet, far too often, our air is contaminated by a range of different toxins.  Hazardous airborne chemicals, including dangerous substances in the toxic gas released by burning plastics, can be harmful and even deadly.  As an Oakland toxic exposure law firm, the Brod Law firm works to get compensation for people made ill by air that was made toxic by human negligence or even intentional acts.

Safety Concerns Following Fire at Plastics Plant in Newark

There were many people expressing concerns about toxic air following a fire in Newark this past Friday.  SFGate reports that it took fire crews two-and-a-half hours to contain a two-alarm fire at a plastics recycling plant on the 6500 block of Smith Avenue.  According to the report, the plant used to house the Western Pacific Pulp and Paper Company which now subleases the building to AHG Recycling, a company that deals with plastics products.

From crashes to mechanical issues, tankertruckaccidents involving large trucks are always frightening and the danger is magnified when the truck is carrying hazardous materials.  Transporting fuel and other potentially dangerous materials is necessary, but it must be done with the highest concern for safety.  Hazardous materials truck accidents can claim lives and cause devastating injuries.  Our Oakland truck accident lawyer advocates for the victims of hazmat accidents helping ensure them recover compensation and holding those responsible accountable for the consequences of their actions and choices.

Diesel Tanker Truck Catches Fire in Vallejo

Thankfully, as the Vallejo Times-Herald reported, tragedy was averted in the case of a diesel truck fire in Vallejo this week.  Early Monday morning, the Vallejo Fire Department responded to a fuel tanker truck fire on Highway 37 near the Fairgrounds Drive exit.  Department officials told reporters that the double tires on the tanker caught fire, possibly as a result of a brake failure on a hill.  While the fire melted the aluminum surrounding the tires, firefighters were able to extinguish the fired before it breached the diesel tank.  Battalion Chief Urrutia said the fire would have been a much bigger, “ugly” incident had the flames reached the tank.  No injuries were reported and the truck’s load was transferred to a second tanker.

It’s a common scene in action movies: A car is racing down the highway, perhaps engaged in a high-speed chase, when there’s a crash and the car explodes in a giant ball of fire.  Car fires make for a dramatic moment on film, but they are absolutely terrifying in real life.  Vehicle fires can have a wide range of causes and tragic consequences.  Oakland car fire lawyer Greg Brod works to get the victims of car fires compensation from those responsible.  His team can help uncover the cause of a car fire and use the law to recover money for the injured and/or the grieving.

Weekend Sees Two Oakland Police Vehicle Fires

As KPIX reported, car fires consumed two police vehicles over the most recent weekend.  Per the article, the first such incident occurred late Saturday when an Oakland officer was chasing a carjacking suspect on I-580 near the High Street exit.  In an attempt to avoid hitting another vehicle, the officer crashed into a pole.  His vehicle burst into flames but, thankfully, he was able to escape and his colleagues were able to capture the carjacking suspect.  A second police vehicle fire occurred on Sunday afternoon when two police cars crashed during a chase on 38th Avenue.

Some of therefinery most important things in our lives are those we rarely think about, like trusting that the brakes will engage when you step on the appropriate pedal.  They can also be some of the most dangerous when things go awry.  Oil and gas lines are among these things.  Oil and gas quite literally fuel our lives.  We trust that the companies that supply these utilities are doing what they should to keep us safe and prevent, among other things, pipeline explosions.  As Californians know all too well, this isn’t always the case and our San Francisco pipeline accident attorney is here to help when tragedy strikes.

Expert Contradicts PG&E’s Interpretation of Rules in Trial Stemming from 2010 San Bruno Explosion

The safety of gas pipelines is in the news this week as Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (“PG&E”) faces criminal charges and fines of up to $562 million alleged violations arising out of the investigation that followed the deadly pipeline explosion in San Bruno in September 2010.  SFGate reports that a government engineer testified this week and contradicted PG&E’s assertion that certain pipeline-related rules are vague and self-defeating.  While PG&E contends that a rule on pipeline pressure is vague and creates odd incentives, the prosecution witness testified that it was far from obscure, had been discussed at public workshops, and was explained on the agency website.  During his opening statement, PG&E’s attorney said the company did its best to comply with vague regulations.

Most of us have, at some point, heard the loud blare of a residential smoke alarm.  Hopefully, you will never hear that sound in the face of a serious emergency (Remember: If you ever disable a smoke alarm because of a false warning, reinstall it ASAP!!).  Sadly, however, residential fires are a very real danger and it is often smoke inhalation rather than the flames that pose the greatest danger.  When dangerous fires are the result of human negligence — including shoddy construction, the failure of a landlord to provide appropriate safety equipment, a faulty consumer product, or any other negligent act that causes or exacerbates a fire – our San Francisco fire injury lawyer is here to help.

Five-Alarm Fire Strikes Mission District

As CBS SF reported, a large fire broke out in San Francisco’s Mission Dfirealarmistrict last weekend.  The fire started sometime around 2:30 PM on Saturday and eventually raged to five-alarms as it spread to multiple buildings on the 3300 block of Mission Street.  By the time firefighters contained the blaze three hours later, it had burned six buildings and left 58 people displaced from their homes.  CBS reports that at least two people were treated at an area hospital for smoke inhalation and officials treated a 1-year-old child for breathing issues on the scene.  Parts of the area remained closed to traffic on Monday as fire officials continued to investigate the cause of the blaze.

In Northern California, we are fortunate to have access to a wide range of beautiful bodies of water and boating is a favorite activity of many visitors and locals alike.  Boating can be great fun for people of all ages, but it is important to remember that safe boatingboatfire should be the very first priority anytime you set out on the water.  Last month, our Oakland boating injury lawyer examined the causes of boating fires.  This month, after reading about another dangerous fire on the water, our team returns to the topic of boat fires to provide advice on prevention and how to respond if you ever face a fire while afloat.

Woman Suffers Serious Burns in Bethel Island Boat Fire

According to the East Bay Times, a weekend boat fire in Bethel Island left a woman facing severe burns.  Officials with the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District told reporters that a flash fire broke out aboard a boat near the 4500 block of South Willow Avenue at about 4:44 PM on Saturday.  A woman and child were on board when the flash fire occurred.  Fire officials have not yet identified the cause of the blaze, which was out by the time fire crews arrived on scene.  The woman suffered severe burns and was taken by helicopter to the burn center at the University of California Davis.  The report does not provide details on the minor’s condition, but does say the child was taken to Antioch’s Sutter Delta Hospital.

The ability to make and use fire is one of the things that has set the human race apart from other species.  We use fire to stay warm, provide light, and cook food.  However, fire is strong and when it is out of control it can cause serious injuries or death.  When residential fires happen because of human negligence, such as when an apartment is not equipped with working smoke detectors or when a wiring issue causes a home to ignite, our San Francisco fire injury lawyer helps hold those at fault financially accountable.

Home Fire in San Francisco Leaves Man in Critical Condition

Earlier this week, CBS SF reported on a residential fire that left a man in critical condition in San Francisco’s firealarmVisitacion Valley.  The fire department was called to the first block of Cora Street at 2:10 PM on Tuesday afternoon.  Upon arrival, firefighters saw flames and smoke inside a single-family home and there was smoke emanating out of the residence.  It was only after they forced their way into the home and began a search that firefighters found a male victim inside.  Emergency officials transported the man to the hospital in critical condition.