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London tragedy reminds us all about fire hazards

The world is still reeling from news about the tragic London high-rise fire that killed dozens, injured many more and left over 100 families homeless. As more information emerges about this terrible incident, one thing is becoming clear: there were known safety issues about the building that were ignored until it was too late. Preliminary reports show that residents had reported issues with there only being a single entry and exit to the 24-story tower while repairs were ongoing, and that there were no sprinklers installed in the building.

As-yet unconfirmed information also hints that the building could have been clad in a now-banned siding that itself could have contributed to the rapid spread of the blaze. Until a more in-depth investigation has been completed, however, the world will have to wait to determine both what caused this fatal blaze and how best to prevent something equally tragic from happening again in the future.

Fires result in serious injuries

Because of the intense heat and close quarters often involved, fire-related injuries are usually severe, and can easily be fatal. One of the most common is smoke inhalation. Smoke is pervasive, and dangerous fumes or gases can be concentrated within it that are, simply put, incompatible with the human body. It might not even be visible, depending on the circumstances, so someone trapped in a burning structure might not even know they are breathing in a potentially deadly substance until it is much too late.

The other obvious injury commonly seen in fires is severe burns. Burns are notoriously hard to heal, as the wounds are often open and they are prone to infection. They are also quite painful and tend to lead to scarring. Sometimes scars can be revised later with cosmetic surgery, but that isn't always an option. Without a plastic surgeon's intervention, the initial disfigurement caused by the burns could be permanent, leading to unsightly scarring and a potential loss of motion and function as well as chronic pain and the need for long-term physical therapy or rehabilitation.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a fire, you may have a claim against several possible responsible parties. If, for example, faulty wiring was to blame for starting the blaze, there could be claims against the wire manufacturer as well as an electrician who negligently installed the system. If incorrect or banned products had been installed that exacerbated injuries, such as may have been the case in the London tower fire, causes of action could lie against the building's owner, property manager, insurer or others. To learn more about potential legal options following an injury-causing fire, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.


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