Accidental fires can be extremely traumatic. In the blink of an eye, a house fire can reduce a home and everything inside to ashes. Families can lose their possessions, be critically injured,  or even killed. Plus, the resulting legal aftermath of a fire accident can be just as devastating.

When you suffer an injury in a fire, it is important to get legal help from a New York fire accident lawyer who understands the laws and regulations surrounding these cases. The Weinstein Law Group, PLLC has decades of combined experience helping people get the compensation they deserve after they are injured in accidents.

We understand what you are going through and we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Burned by a fire? Our firm can help.

Our firm has represented injured people for over 30 years. We represent clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and other areas. The Weinstein Law Group ensures you get the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, and pain and suffering.

Our clients know that we are working toward a safer New York City. After a malfunctioning space heater destroyed the lives of nine families in the Bronx and changed the lives of dozens of others, our attorneys stepped up to represent those families.

Our firm realized these negligent landlords must be held responsible to keep the city safe. Our firm’s skilled New York fire accident lawyer will listen to your story and help you get compensation.

Contact our law firm for a free initial consultation and learn how we can help you.

What is the statute of limitations for fire accidents?

The statute of limitation in New York City varies based on the damages you claim.

In the city, you have two to five years to file a legal claim based on arson. This is a criminal case. However, for the personal injury claim associated with a fire, you have three years from the date of the incident.

Similarly, if the fire you suffered was due to product liability or caused property damage, you must file your claim within three years of the date of the fire. If someone perished in the fire, then you must file a wrongful death fire claim within two years of the date of their death.

What are the different types of fire and explosion accident cases we handle?

Furnace explosions

If the furnace in your building is defective or poorly maintained, it can explode. Furnaces cause many injuries every year because people are often burned in their homes after an explosion.

faulty propane tanks

Faulty propane tanks in homes and businesses can overheat if the equipment fails or the tanks are not cared for properly. This is especially dangerous in a densely populated area like New York City.

Gasoline explosions

This is one of the most common types of fires in New York City because there are so many gas lines and tanks around the city. These accidents happen for many reasons, including poorly maintained tanks and defective equipment. They can cause severe injuries because they are often explosive.

Construction vehicle fire

Construction vehicles catch fire often, especially in a large city like New York. These accidents can cause serious injuries to those nearby and extensive property damage.

Welding accidents

Welding accidents can cause severe injuries because there is usually a flame involved. They can also damage property around the accident scene.

Industrial fires

Industrial fires are common in the greater New York City because of the number of factories and plants. If this type of fire should happen near you, leave the area fast. Industrial fires can shoot dangerous chemicals into the surrounding areas, so evacuation is likely necessary.

Electrical fires

Power outages happen from time to time in New York, but when they do, the wiring of a building may become over-stressed and start a fire. This can happen in buildings with faulty wiring, old equipment, or substandard construction. It can also cause injuries to those nearby and extensive damage to the structure of the building.

Faulty wiring

If faulty wiring causes a fire, it can lead to serious injuries. A lack of maintenance and inspection may cause these accidents.

Defective electronics

Defective electronics in your area can cause electrical sparks that ignite something nearby. This happens often around the holidays with trees and lights.

Smoke detector issues

When smoke detectors are not working properly, occupants may not know about a fire until too late. When smoke fills the area, it is difficult for people to escape or put out the fire. 

Blocked emergency exits

Blocked emergency exits or faulty electrical doors can lead to many dangerous accidents. Because of overcrowding, these may include fires, smoke inhalation injuries, and even structural collapse.

Insufficient fire extinguishers

Not having enough fire extinguishers for a multi-family house or apartment can spell disaster for its occupants. It prevents people from extinguishing fires before they spread, including electrical fires, cooking fires, and even chemical fires. The range of extinguishers present should have the appropriate class rating for each type of fire.

Apartment building fires

Apartment building fires can affect many households at once. Often, these accidents result in serious injury, death, and extensive property damage. Apartment buildings in New York often have backlogged or poor maintenance, so it’s important to catalog all maintenance requests to the landlords. Ignored requests can reveal a pattern of negligence.

Landlord negligence

If you have been injured because of an accidental fire in your building, your landlord’s negligence may be to blame. Once you’ve been treated for your injuries, a New York fire accident lawyer is the most important person you can call. 

Flammable liquids or clothing

If there are flammable liquids or clothing near you, it can cause fires that spread very quickly. Appropriate caution should be exercised at all times, but too often these materials cause irreparable damage. 

Chemical fires

New York has a large number of chemical plants. If the chemicals catch fire, it can cause serious injuries and extensive property damage to those in surrounding areas.

What are the common causes of fire accidents?

Defective products

Defective products commonly cause fires. These items have been manufactured incorrectly or were not tested enough before they hit store shelves, such as toys and other objects for children. Other defective products can include electrical products that malfunction and cause fires or sparks that spread quickly.

Lack of inspection

If you are living somewhere that has not been inspected for fire hazards, it can cause devastating accidents. For example, if there is a defective gas heater in your area that someone has tampered with, the result could be deadly.

Electrical sparks

Electrical sparks can come from many different sources and ignite something flammable in the environment. For example, if a welder working in your area does not have proper ventilation or safety equipment, a fire could quickly spread.

Suspended dust

Suspended dust is another cause of fire accidents in the area.

Dust can ignite when it mixes with an oxidizing agent or even rubs against something red-hot. For example, if there has been a lot of construction near you recently, suspended dust can accumulate and lead to a serious fire accident.

Flammable products

Flammable products stored in the area can also cause fires when igniting. These items may include:

  • Propane tanks
  • Paints and solvents
  • Other flammable liquids used for construction

Poor wiring

Poor wiring can also cause fires because it has not been properly installed or maintained.

This can lead to exposed wires that are close together, another accident waiting to happen if you are not careful.

Vehicle crashes

Many times, fires are caused by vehicle crashes. For example, if you are standing behind a bus or another large vehicle while it is still running and the exhaust system comes in contact with something flammable, it could result in an explosion.

Other causes of vehicle fires include faulty fuel lines that rupture when struck or even when a car is rear-ended by a truck or large vehicle.


Negligence is a leading cause of fire accidents. If your neighbor’s carelessness has put you in danger, it may be time to get help from a New York City law firm with experience.

Gas leak

If there has been a gas leak in the area, there could be an explosion at any point. Accidents like this cause significant property damage, but they can also lead to burns and even death.

Improper candle use

Another common cause of fire accidents is the use of candles. For example, someone may leave their lit candles unattended, which could lead to something flammable catching on fire. Improperly used candles can also cause injury because the flame is close to combustible materials like curtains or bedding.

Overloaded circuits

Overloaded circuits are another common cause of fire accidents. For example, a circuit can overload when you plug in too many appliances to an often-used outlet. When the circuit is overloaded, there may not be enough power to run all of these appliances, which could lead to a short or even an electrical fire.


Cigarettes are a common cause of fire accidents because they can easily ignite combustible objects. If you smoke and there is no ashtray nearby, it would be wise to put the cigarette out in a glass or metal container filled with water so that ashes do not get on furniture or other flammable materials.

Fires caused by negligent property owners in New York City

In New York City, negligent property owners can be held responsible for the injuries and damages caused by their fire accidents.

new york fire accident lawyerFor example, an irresponsible landlord may overload a building’s circuit with too many appliances. A careless property owner can also fail to conduct regular electrical wiring inspections or even repair potential hazards found throughout the years.

Even with no visible issues, an irresponsible homeowner may not conduct regular inspections to maintain safe conditions for tenants or guests.

Fires caused by defective products

If a defective product injures you, you may have the right to file a claim for damages.

It is generally said that all products must meet the “reasonably respectable” use of the user.

For example, if everyone uses a certain product in one way and one person does not follow the instructions and is injured, then the product must be reasonably safe for those observant of instructions.

Defective products include faulty wiring or electrical appliances that overheat and start a fire.

Fires caused by arson

The definition of arson in New York is a person who “knowingly damages a building” or any property utilizing fire or explosion.

If you know that someone has intentionally set your home ablaze, then you may be able to hold them responsible for the damage and injuries that have been caused.

What are common injuries from fires?

Lung Damage

Lung damage results when burns destroy parts of your respiratory system or reduce your ability to breathe deeply. When inhaling fumes, smoke, and other toxic substances, your lungs can be damaged in serious fires. You may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing after the fire.

Smoke inhalation

Smoke inhalation injuries are caused by breathing toxins from smoke during a fire. Smoke inhalation occurs before, during, and after a fire, and symptoms may be immediate or delayed.

Smoke inhalation injuries may include:

  • Respiratory damage,
  • Edema,
  • Chemical irritation of the airways or lungs,
  • Post-inflammatory causes.

Deaths from fires are often attributed to smoke inhalation rather than burns. Inhaling too much of certain chemicals in the air can cause symptoms that lead to death. These symptoms can include coughing, headaches, vomiting, fluid in your lungs, and difficulty breathing.


Suffocation injuries result when you are trapped in a fire and unable to breathe. It is possible for you to suffer this injury without suffering any burns. 

Signs of suffocation include coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, fatigue after exertion, pain or numbness near the face or neck,  and unconsciousness.


Burns are also a common injury from fires and can range from mild to severe. Burns can result from:

  • Direct contact with flames
  • Hot items
  • Steam
  • Fire-related chemicals
  • Smoke

Symptoms of a burn include red skin that may appear dry or moist, blisters on the skin, pain, swelling of the area around the burn, and a change in skin color.

Symptoms of a severe or full-thickness burn can include white and charred skin, blistering and peeling after one to three days, weeping (drainage) from open wounds, numbness, and lack of pain sensation.

Scarring and disfigurement

Scarring that appears after mild to severe burns can cause lifestyle changes. A baseball player who burned his whole pitching arm will likely never experience full range and mobility in the arm again, and your New York fire accident lawyer should recognize that loss of enjoyment of life. 

Many scars are permanent but can be minimized with appropriate treatment. After full-thickness burns, you may require skin grafting to minimize scarring. Scar tissue is often less elastic than undamaged skin and can lead to disfigurement if too much skin is lost or the scar tissue isn’t well-placed.

Loss of vision

Some fire injuries can lead to eye damage and vision loss. These injuries can result from coming near a fire, heat or explosions related to a fire, or particulate matter such as soot and chemicals produced during a fire.

Vision loss can be temporary or permanent depending on the injury. Symptoms of vision loss include watery and itchy eyes, feeling as if there is a foreign object in your eye, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.

Emotional distress

The emotional toll after surviving a fire can be a heavy one, especially if others were lost in the blaze. After surviving a fire, many people and their family members suffer from emotional distress in the following months and years. This can include everything from PTSD to new triggering anxieties.

One of the most common mental hardships after a fire is PTSD. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Severe anxiety
  • Irritability or angry outbursts
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Avoiding things that remind you of the fire

Disfigurement and scarring can leave many people with limited mobility or with an inability to be as effective as they once were in their occupations. Fire injuries that require you to take time off work for treatment and recovery can greatly impact your career trajectory even if a full recovery is possible. 


If your injury prevents you from working in the future or doing things that were previously easy for you, you may need to talk to your lawyer about claiming your new disabilities in the lawsuit. 


Fire injuries can be fatal. Losing someone in a fire is a hardship that no one should have to face alone. A New York fire accident lawyer at The Weinstein Law Group is here to support and fight for the rights of your lost loved one. 

According to the US Fire Administration, were 3,515  fatalities due to fires in the United States in 2019. This includes deaths caused by smoke inhalation and burns.

If you have lost a loved one to a fire accident, contact our New York fire accident attorneys as soon as possible. 

Hire a New York fire accident lawyer today.

After you have suffered an injury from a fire accident, you must contact a New York fire accident lawyer at The Weinstein Law Group.

Our team of lawyers will fight for your rights and ensure that financial compensation is available to help you move forward with life after the devastation of a fire.

Feel free to reach out by phone or email so we can answer any questions about our services.

Featured Attorney

Steven M. Weinstein