Twin boys aged 2 were killed in a fire that blazed through their home, which did not have working smoke alarms. According to a KTLA news report, the fire broke out at about 9 p.m. December 27, 2016 and quickly engulfed the home in the 800 block of East 113th Street. Firefighters had to fight through security doors and window bars to get into the home where they rescued the boys and a man believed to be their father. The twin boys were taken to a local hospital in critical condition. They were later pronounced dead.
Their father was hospitalized in serious condition but was later released from the hospital. A 4-year-old girl and adult woman who were also at the home at the time were expected to be uninjured. The home did not have working smoke alarms, investigators said. The cause of the fire is also under investigation. But based on preliminary reports, a Christmas tree may have played a role in sparking the fatal fire.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of these young children who perished as the result of this fire. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Christmas Tree Fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home structure fires per year that were caused by Christmas trees between 2010 and 2014. These fires caused an annual average of six deaths, 16 injuries and $16.2 million in direct property damage. On average, one out of every 34 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death. Although Christmas tree fires are not all that common, they are much more likely to be deadly than most other fires. In about 26 percent of the Christmas tree fires and 80 percent of the deaths, some type of heat source such as a candle was placed too close to the tree.
Lack of Smoke Alarms
Under Los Angeles city code, all homes must be equipped with smoke alarms. These are life-saving devices because they provide and early warning about a fire giving the occupants of a home to get to safety before the fire spreads and makes it difficult to escape. In such cases, it must be examined if a landlord or property owner failed to install or maintain the smoke alarms. If that was the case, the property owner or manager could be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused. Families of deceased victims in such cases would be well advised to contact a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer who will be able to give them more information about their legal rights and options.