Articles Posted in Burn Injuries

A multi-house fire in Ventura, California, caused injures to four people and destroyed two homes. According to KEYT 3 News, the fire occurred at just before 1:00 a.m. The Ventura fire department received several calls about the house fires in Cabrillo Village in East Ventura, even Oxnard residents could see the smoke.

By the time firefighters arrived, two homes were largely consumed, and a third home had caught fire. Several cars near the homes also caught fire. Because the blaze was so large, firefighters had to use large diameter hoses which are usually used in commercial structure fires.

The four victims of the fire were in the home that initially caught fire. The victims were immediately taken to the hospital—two victims were in critical condition, and the other two had moderate injuries. In addition to those injured, 15 people were displaced as a result of the fire. At this point, firefighters are not sure how the fire started and the fire will remain under investigation by the Ventura Fire department.

California is currently in a state of emergency because of fires burning throughout the state. On the morning of August 8, 2018, a 51-year-old man, Forrest Gordon Clark, was arrested at his home in connection with the large forest fire in the Cleveland National forest, that has burned over 18,000 acres. According to ABC 7 News, the Orange County fire authority became suspicious of Clark when they discovered the origin of the fire was near the cabin he owns. So far, no one has been injured but many cabins and homes have burned, and firefighters fear more structures could be in harm’s way.

Currently, investigators believe the fire was an intentional act. They have been gathering evidence to support this claim. For example, the fire originated near Clark’s cabin, and of the 14 cabins in the area, Clark’s is the only one still standing. Clark also sent an email to the volunteer fire chief last week warning, “This place will burn” after a dispute with his neighbors.

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An explosion in an apartment building in Torrance injured four people and caused serious damage to several apartments in the building. When the explosion occurred, contract workers were renovating units in the building and installing kitchen appliances. Though the cause was originally unknown, it has been determined that the installation of new kitchen appliances is what lead to the explosion.

The Daily Breeze reported, “When (the contractors) went to activate one of the appliances, that provided the spark that led to the explosion. The source of the explosion was a service line into the kitchen.” The fire department is still trying to determine whether the gas leak occurred before or after the new appliances were installed.  Continue Reading

A Los Angeles car accident on Christmas day resulted in a vehicle fire on the southbound 405 freeway, near the interchange with the 101 freeway. After a car apparently collided with the center divider, an off duty LAPD officer who witnessed the crash stopped to assist. According to the Los Angeles Times, officer Thompson cut the victim’s seat-belt and attempted to free him from the burning car, before Thompson himself was overcome by the fire and smoke.

Fortunately, two other people stopped and helped and pulled Thompson and the other victim from the burning car. The car ended up fully engulfed by flames from the 405 freeway accident. A captain in the Los Angeles Fire Department said that Thompson’s actions probably saved the victim’s life.

It is still unclear exactly what caused this car accident in Los Angeles. Vehicles collide with guardrails and center dividers for many reasons. Sometimes it is due to driver inattentiveness and other times the accidents are caused by other vehicles that change lanes into the car without seeing it, pushing it into the divider.

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The “Springs Fire,” which has now burned over 10,000 acres, is threatening about 4,000 homes in Newbury Park California. The California brush fire has caused damage to at least 15 homes and other properties so far. As of now, the Newbury Park fire has not been contained and many residents have had to evacuate their homes.

Fortunately, no incidents of injury or death, to residents or firefighters, have been reported. As always, with a fire as massive as this one, the risk of fire and burn injuries is significant. Adding to the danger is the fact that the Santa Ana winds have been blowing particularly strong this week. Further, the lack of rain in the Los Angeles area this year heightens the risk of brush fires and makes it easier for the fire to spread.

According to CNN, the California fire started on Thursday morning in Camarillo, California, and traveled all the way to Pacific Coast Highway. Due to the fire, a 10 mile area of PCH was closed, just north of Malibu.

As of now, the cause of the Newbury Park brush fire remains unknown. Sometimes these fires are caused by arson, in which case the arsonist, if caught, can face serious criminal charges, including murder if any deaths result from the fire. If caught, the arsonist would also face civil liability for the fire damage caused to property.

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A Los Angeles gas explosion at a Sports Chalet in La Cañada Filtridge resulted in serious burn injuries to two store employees. According to the Los Angeles Times, the employees were going to shut off a gas valve, after a person reported smelling gas, when the explosion occurred. The two employees suffered serious burn injuries in the gas explosion.

The employees reportedly suffered second and third degree burns in the La Cañada Filtridge gas explosion. Sport Chalet, the owners of the store, and employers of the injured employees, has apparently offered their support to the injury victims and is having a blood drive on March 26th, with the American Red Cross.

The store employees, who were injured on their job, should be able to make a Los Angeles workers’ compensation claim against their employers’ workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is coverage that will cover the employees regardless of who caused the accident. From a Los Angeles personal injury standpoint, if any customers of the store had been injured, they would have to make a claim against whoever was responsible for causing the gas explosion in La Cañada Filtridge.

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A nightclub fire in Brazil early Sunday morning has resulted in the deaths of at least 231 people. According to the New York Times, the fire, which occurred at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil, apparently started when a flare from a stage performance ignited the ceiling. It is possible that the flare ignited exposed wiring, leading to the tragic nightclub fire.

Patrons at the nightclub died from fire injuries, including smoke inhalation, as well as from being trampled to death in the scramble to exit the club. In addition to the deaths, over 100 people were injured, including many in critical condition.

Some reports have indicated that security may have blocked some people from exiting the club. One of those reports said that security was making people pay their tabs before leaving. If true, the actions of the security may have led to many more lives being lost in the fire.

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At least 14 People were injured in a motel fire in San Pedro, California today. The motel fire occurred at approximately 3:30 this morning and 150 firefighters responded and had the fire extinguished by about 4:00 a.m. Of the those who were injured, 12 had to be hospitalized for their fire and burn injuries. The motel fire injuries included third degree burns and smoke inhalation. Of the 12 who had to be taken to the hospital, three victims were listed to be in critical condition.

The motel fire, which occurred at the Palos Verdes Inn, may have injured as many as 17 people, including a police officer who reportedly suffered a smoke inhalation injury.

According to the Los Angeles Times, some guests at the motel climbed to the roof to escape the fire, and apparently one guest jumped from the roof to escape. Due to the speed at which the fire moved through the motel and because of the heat it generated, the Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating the fire as a possible arson. The fire department also said that smoke detectors were quickly overcome by the heat of the fire.

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Two women were fatally electrocuted after a Valley Village car accident on Thursday, August 23, 2012, when the first went to help the injured driver of a car accident and the second when she went to help the first woman. Several others reportedly suffered less serious electrical burn injuries and are expected to make a full recovery.

Apparently, the driver, a 19 year old from Glendale, driving a sports utility vehicle (SUV), lost control of his vehicle, possibly due to high speed, when traveling through the intersection of Magnolia Boulevard and Ben Avenue, striking a concrete light standard and fire hydrant with such force to knock them both over. This created a dangerous and deadly combination as water quickly pooled into the intersection, causing the wrongful death of two good Samaritans and severe injuries to others who were electrocuted and burned.

One passerby, Irma Zamora, reportedly called 911 then rushed from her vehicle and ran to assist the driver of the SUV. Unbeknownst to her, the water in the intersection was electrified and when she stepped into the water she was immediately electrocuted to death. The fire department estimated that her wrongful death was caused by approximately 48,000 volts of electricity. According to the Los Angeles Times, Mrs. Zamora, age 40, of Burbank, Los Angeles County, was known as one to help others. According to family members, her selfless action was typical.

Another woman, not yet identified, also died when, as she tried to help Mrs. Zamora and touched her, she also was electrocuted to death. Reportedly, at least six (6) others, including the driver of the SUV and a Los Angeles police officer, were electrocuted, severely injured and required hospitalization.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited the Valley Village traffic collision site, praising the two good Samaritans as heroes. He also reminded others to carefully assess such situations before rushing into them and to wait for professionals to arrive.
One former resident of Valley Village who is very knowledgeable about car accidents and electricity, R. Freeman, advised that after a car accident one should never go near pooled water when there is a damaged electrical device, such as a damaged power pole, that could possibly electrify the pooled water and, in fact, one should move far away as quickly as possible and wait for the fire department to handle the situation.

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Recently, I had a client tell me that she felt there were too many “frivolous” lawsuits filed in the United States. When I asked her to back up her statement, she referred to the lady who sued McDonalds after suffering injuries from spilled coffee. When I asked for other examples, my client could not think of any, but still had this belief, from this McDonalds coffee case, that people can cause harm to themselves and receive millions of dollars. My client told me that she thinks that lawsuits such as these drive up the costs for everyone else.

Unfortunately, this is a commonly held belief of many Americans, who hear about a sensational case on the news, and think there is an epidemic. This is no different than people watching the news, hearing about one crime, and immediately concluding that there is too much crime and feeling unsafe, even if overall crime is going down.

The media does not report about how much safer our lives are due to the fact companies are held financially responsible for their unsafe behavior. Without this regulation, companies would act with impunity, neglecting the safety of consumers, as can be seen by the unsafe business practices in many other countries. Instead, sensational stories get the headlines and attention.

Susan Saladoff’s documentary film, “Hot Coffee,” attacks the brainwashing that corporate America, especially very large billion dollar insurance companies, has inflicted on the American public. This film gives us the facts that many people do not know about the McDonalds coffee case. For instance, many people forget that this one incident occurred in 1992, over 20 years ago, but they still think that it represents an epidemic of lawsuits. Further, prior to this incident, McDonalds received hundreds of complaints that they were serving their coffee too hot, but did nothing to rectify it.

[For all the facts of the McDonalds coffee case, including answers to frequently asked questions, click here.]

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