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Who Can Be Held Responsible for an Apartment Fire?


House fires are extremely destructive and have been responsible multiple personal injuries and even deaths. But when an apartment building catches fire, the damages and injuries multiply across many families’ homes.

When a fire occurs, someone should typically be held liable for the damages. The question then becomes, “Who?”

The Tenant


Unfortunately, when you share a building with multiple other families, you can find yourself at the mercy of their actions. They are also at the mercy of your actions. It only takes one mistake to destroy many lives.

There are multiple fire hazards for a tenant to avoid, and if the tenant fails to exercise safety, then she can be held responsible for the fire and all the destruction that results from it. Some of these hazards may be:

  • Leaving a candle lit
  • Forgetting to unplug an iron
  • Failing to clean out the lint in the dryer
  • Leaving the oven or stove on
  • Not taking proper measures when cooking with grease
  • Failure to alert maintenance of a possible hazard

The Landlord


Sometimes fires can occur if the building is not properly maintained, making it the responsibility of the landlord. The landlord is responsible for looking out for hazards and mending these hazards in a timely manner. The landlord is also responsible to make sure that measures are taken to put out a fire as soon as it occurs. For example, most apartments provide a fire extinguisher in each unit to use in case of emergency.

Because it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the safety of his residents, he could be responsible if a building issue that he was aware of caused the fire. Some of these issues might include:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Broken fire alarms
  • Faulty smoke detectors
  • Lack of fire extinguishers
  • Poor security
  • Insufficient amount of emergency exits

Another Party


A landlord cannot be held responsible for the hazard if he is never made aware of the hazard. There are many occasions in which maintenance of the building requires more expert knowledge than the typical landlord has. In these instances, he is likely to hire more qualified people to do this job for him.

If experts are on the case, there is an expectation for the work to be done well and correctly. If this work is not done correctly and a fire results from the flaws, the outside party may be held responsible for any injuries caused by the fire. Some of these mistakes by outside parties may be:

  • Installation and repair errors made by an electric company
  • Missed details by an inspection company
  • Mistakes in the structure of the building made by the construction company
  • Failure of a maintenance company to adequately fix a problem
  • Mistakes of the detection device companies when making the smoke alarms

Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in an apartment fire caused by someone else, you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for a free consultation.