Massive Apartment Fires in the Bronx Expose Ongoing Building Issues, Safety Violations

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The attorneys at Ronemus & Vilensky prepare each case as if it were going to trial, whether it does or not. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we will be prepared to try the case in court.


Two recent massive apartment building fires in the Bronx caused property damage, displaced tenants, and in one case, injured two people. The fire where the injuries occurred took place on September 29 on West 238th Street in Van Courtlandt Village just after 3 a.m. It took more than 100 firefighters to get the fire under control, which started on the fifth floor of the six-story building, according to ABC 7 News. The superintendent of the building notified the landlord that the electricity went off in one of the fifth-floor apartments. The landlord advised the superintendent to connect the tenant’s refrigerator to an outlet in the hallway as the tenant’s food was going to spoil. The electricity load from the refrigerator overheated the socket and caused the fire.

The other fire occurred on October 9 in several multifamily homes along East 143rd Street, where it took about 170 firefighters to control the fire. CBS New York reported that the four-alarm fire quickly engulfed four apartment buildings and sent pandemonium across the area. Fortunately, no one was hurt but several tenants were left homeless. According to the FDNY, the fire has been deemed accidental due to faulty electrical wiring.

These fires and others expose safety issues and negligence on the part of apartment building owners/landlords in New York City. In the West 238th Street fire, for example, the Building Registration Summary Report filed with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal shows 110 violations from 2015 to date. Violations include: 

  • inoperable smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detecting devices, broken or defective electrical outlets, and defective electric light features in multiple apartment units 
  • issues with fire escapes
  • broken or defective fire retardant material on ceiling and walls
  • other multiple non-fire hazard safety issues

In addition, in 2017 a fire occurred at the West 238th Street location in one of the apartments and the tenant was forced to vacate. 

Fires are responsible for causing life-threatening injuries and death, property damage, and tenant displacement. We are representing several of the tenants in both of these recent fires. If you or someone you know has suffered a fire injury, let us help you fight for your rights and hold those responsible accountable for your trauma and injuries. Contact our NYC Fire Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation or call 212-779-7070.