What is Causing All the Fires in San Francisco?
Fires have the potential to cause some of the most serious injuries imaginable for San Francisco residents. Not only can fires disfigure innocent victims, but they can also cause permanent lung damage due to smoke inhalation. And of course, some of these victims never escape at all, perishing in what has been described as one of the most painful and horrific ways to die.
It goes without saying that we should work diligently to prevent fires from sparking in San Francisco. But with the worrying number of fires in the city, it seems as though something is clearly wrong with our approach. If a property owner or government agency fails to take effective steps to prevent fires, they may be held accountable for any resulting injuries. With help from qualified personal injury attorneys in San Francisco, both injured victims and family members of deceased loved ones can file lawsuits against negligent parties that contributed to tragic fires.
San Francisco Officials “Sounding the Alarm” Over Increase in Fires
On September 12, 2023, San Francisco officials “sounded the alarm” over a rapid increase in fires throughout the city. They expressed concerns over the fact that commercial and residential fires had reached a peak not seen in over a decade, also pointing out that outside fires had also risen sharply within the previous five years.
In 2022, firefighters responded to more building blazes than any year since 2013. Of particular note seem to be single-room occupancy hotels, high-rises, and commercial buildings, which seem to be going up in flames on a weekly basis. In 2022, over 50 people were rendered homeless by fires in San Francisco.
Vacant Commercial Building Goes Up in Flames
Two days after these officials raised their concerns, another commercial building went up in flames. Fortunately, this structure was vacant at the time of the fire – likely the result of a sharp decrease in demand for commercial space since Covid. Images from the incident showed a raging inferno that burned through the night, but firefighters were able to get it under control by 1 AM. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
High School Evacuated After Fire Alarm
On September 15, 2023, high school students were ushered out of Balboa High School after a fire alarm was triggered. This was no training drill, as a very real fire was burning in a fourth-floor bathroom. No one was injured, but the fire is likely a case of arson. This is also especially alarming, as it indicates that children in San Francisco are equally at risk compared to adults when it comes to fires.
Popular Bakery Forced to Close After Fire
Back in August of 2023, the popular Arizmendi Bakery was forced to shut its doors after a fire. Fortunately, the repairs only took a few days to complete before the bakery reopened. The fire seems to have been somewhat intense, as almost 40 firefighters responded to the blaze at around 11 PM. However, representatives of the bakery stressed that this was a “small fire.”
Are Fires More Common in San Francisco During the Summer?
To a certain extent, more fires are to be expected during the dry, hot summer months. Dry conditions can cause even a pile of leaves or a garbage can to catch fire with a single spark. This spark might come from a cigarette, a vehicle, or an electrical problem. That being said, the uptick in summer fires is generally more closely related to wildfires in rural areas. In urban areas like San Francisco, the same “wildfire season” explanation does not really apply.
What About Arson?
Arson is another potential explanation for the uptick in urban fires throughout San Francisco. Some of these arsons are only suspected, with investigators lacking the necessary proof to establish this beyond reasonable doubt. In other cases, arsonists are clearly to blame. Such was the case in July 2023, when the Indian Consulate in San Francisco was attacked by Khalistan supporters. The arsonists made no attempt to hide their attack. In fact, they posted a video of themselves carrying out the arson on X.
While the local fire department quickly responded to the blaze and extinguished it, officials stressed that this was the second attack of this kind on the consulate within a five-month period. The fact that terrorist attacks could be so blatantly carried out by the same group of people in a repeated fashion highlights the decline in law enforcement within San Francisco. This total absence of law and order is something that has been highlighted by numerous groups, including business owners and district attorneys.
Who Can I Sue for Fire Injuries in San Francisco?
Plaintiffs injured in San Francisco fires can sue a range of potential defendants. If the fire was indeed caused by arson, it may be possible to sue a property owner for negligent security. If the fire was made worse due to the lack of a proper fire safety plan, it may be possible to sue property owners or landlords. If the fire was sparked by some kind of defective product, such as a faulty lithium-ion battery, it may be possible to sue the product manufacturer. To learn more about who you might be able to sue, be sure to get in touch with a qualified San Francisco injury attorney.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in San Francisco?
If you have been searching for an experienced personal injury attorney in San Francisco, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our assistance, you can strive for compensation, justice, and closure for traumatic fire injuries. If you believe that a landlord, a property owner, or a government agency contributed to the fire in any way, it may be possible to hold them liable. We know that fires can be especially traumatic and life-changing, causing not only permanent disfigurement but lasting mental health issues. Book your consultation today to begin this legal process. We can help you determine the most appropriate course of legal action.