On the morning of January 16, 2018, a four-alarm fire raged for hours in the Codman Square section of Dorchester. While much remains unknown as of yet, there have been no immediate reports of injuries. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. In just the past week, fires have also broken out in other areas of Massachusetts, such as Lowell, Mattapan, Lawrence, and Westwood.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires occur more in winter than in any other season. In fact, half of all home heating fires occur in the months of December, January, and February. Heating equipment such as space heaters are a leading cause of these home fires, accounting for 15% of all reported home fires in 2011-2015; other potential fire hazards in the winter season include candles, holiday decorations, portable generators, and chimneys. In enduring the long and cold Massachusetts winter, it is important to be cautious and aware of the potential dangers that accompany the season.

In the situation that someone is injured in a fire, that person may be entitled to bring a claim against the person or entity responsible for negligently starting the fire. People may be surprised to learn that in addition, a firefighter injured or killed responding to a fire may also be entitled to bring a claim against the negligent party, if the fire caused the firefighter to initiate rescue and he or she was injured as a result. This is known as the “rescue doctrine,” and has been the subject of a previous blog post.

SUGARMAN attorneys have experience handling claims for injuries and deaths resulting from fires. If you or a family member has been seriously injured and wish to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys, please call us at (617) 542-1000, e-mail info@sugarman.com or fill out a Contact Form.