Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Explosion and Fire Accidents

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Thankfully nobody was injured in a Manhattan gas explosion. An electrical malfunction in a Con Edison transformer caused a carbon monoxide leak in a building located on 2465 Broadway between 91st and 92nd Street in the Upper West Side. The leak started around 4:00 pm and was discovered when the alarm of the Equinox gym located in the building went on.  90 people including clients at Equinox and three other businesses as well as 15 tenants were swiftly evacuated before an explosion shattered the windows of the building. Witnesses said they saw a big orange flash followed by the explosion. Glass and debris flew across Broadway. People living in the area felt their apartments shake. Animals at next door Petco were all safe as well.

The firefighters thought the alarms had been triggered by a smoking transformer inside the Equinox Gym basement but then they detected high levels of carbon monoxide and found that a carbon monoxide leak from defective ConEd equipment under the sidewalk. The gas and electricity were shut off on the block. Yesterday morning the gas was still turned off as investigators were still figuring out what happened.

It was fortunate that everybody could be evacuated before the explosion occurred. Carbon monoxide gas leak are extremely dangerous and very easy to ignite.  Any spark caused by even a telephone ringing or a light switch being turned on can trigger an explosion.

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Five people were injured in a manhole explosion in the Bronx, NYC, last Friday night. A manhole located on Saint Ann’s Avenue near East 156th Street exploded under a parked car. 3 civilians and 2 police officers were injured by flying debris during the explosion. The civilians were treated at the scene of the accident while the two police officers were transported to the hospital to be treated.

Con Edison crews were still making repairs yesterday working to fix underground wires in a narrow area of  Saint Ann’s Avenue.

Manhole explosions can be very dangerous in a busy city like New York. In such explosion the cast iron cover that can weight between 85 and 300 pounds is sometimes propelled into the air from 1 foot to 50 feet depending on the intensity of the explosion. Manhole explosions often occur during the spring because all the salt used to make the roads safer is corroding the underground cables. However other factors such as aging, overload or rat biting can also damage the cables insulation. When the cable insulation is damaged, wires start to touch each others creating heat to the point that the insulation catches on fire and releases gas. The pressure from the gas then builds up inside the manhole. The defective electrical wires can then ignite the gas and cause a potential explosion.

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Home FireA woman and her dog died in a residential fire in New York City at the beginning of last week.  47 year old Dawn Greig had just borrowed a space heater from her sister Denise. Greig who lived in a two-story home on Beach 95th Street in Rockaway Beach previously told her sister that since Sandy the building’s boiler hadn’t been working proprely and she didn’t get any heat. Her sister who had a couple of  space heaters in her own house offered her one.

On Monday morning around 5:00 am, Denise who lived in a house on the same lot stopped at her sister’s place for a quick chat before heading to work. At that time everything seemed ok. The fire erupted 3 hours later. When the firefighters arrived they found Dawn unconscious on the second floor. She was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t survive. He dog also perished in the flames. The borrowed heater was found melted by the FDNY (Read more about it in the NY Daily News).

Portable heaters are responsible for an average 12,000 fires every year in the US

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17 people were injured in a fire that erupted in a Manhattan building early Wednesday morning.  Among the injured were 14 firefighters and 3 residents who were treated for smoke inhalation, heat exhaustion and minor injuries. The fire was so smoky that it was difficult for residents that were being evacuated to see where they were going. The firefighters stayed on location for 6 hours.

Most of a roof extension located on the first floor of the building was on fire and  posing a risk of collapse,preventing firefighters to get in that small section of the building. Investigation is still ongoing but according to the media, the fire probably started a little bit before 2 am on the first floor of the five-story building located on 188 First Avenue between 11th and 12th Street. The restaurant Uogashi as well as the 8 apartments of the building were badly damaged by the smoke and the fire. The East Side Community High School at 420 East 12th Street near First Avenue and P.S. 19 at 185 First Avenue near East 12th Street were closed for one day to make sure students didn’t get exposed to smoke.

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5 people suffered personal injury in a steam pipe explosion in Manhattan last Thursday. The injuries were minor but nearby tenants were worried about the effect of possible asbestos exposure as the explosion produced a thick geyser of white smoke and debris that contained asbestos.  The pipe that exploded was installed in 1932 at a time when asbestos was used as a component for the thermal insulation around the pipe. It was banned in the 1970 after studies demonstrated that exposure to the substance could lead to serious health problems including lung cancer.

In the afternoon following the explosion Mayor de Blasio confirmed that the steam line pipe was contaminated with asbestos and that authorities were concerned about  whether any debris entered into buildings or into air conditioning systems. Streets were closed to the public around the explosion area on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron district and 49 buildings were evacuated so that the area could be fully decontaminated.

According to Dr. Norman Edelman, a pulmonologist interviewed by the New York Times, the health risk associated with a one time exposure to asbestos are minimal. Its chronic exposure, over years or decade that is the real danger.

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Staten Island fire injured 20 firefightersTwo elderly women died in separate fire accidents in Queens on Monday. The first accident occurred early morning Monday around 2:10 am in the Rockaways, Queens. A fire caused by careless smoking quickly spread through the 15th floor of  a high rise apartment located at 7-11 Seagirt Ave. There was no smoke alarm in the house. The 71 year old woman who was living in the apartment died in the fire.

Later on during the day another fire caused by an electrical  extension killed 82 year old Audrey Hebling. The woman was found unconscious in the kitchen of her house located at 252nd Street between 87th Road and 87th Drive in Bellrose Manor. Again there was no smoke alarm in the house.

Last week-end the FDNY also had to battle a massive blaze in Staten Island during which 20 of them got injured, including 4 seriously.  The fire that destroyed several properties on Steinway Ave was sparked by a kid who was playing with a lighter.

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Harleen Maggo died in a NYC fire accidentA Queens Village family who was celebrating an upcoming wedding was caught in a massive fire that quickly ravaged their house killing 3 of them and injuring many others. The house located on 211th Street and 93rd Road didn’t seem to have working smoke detectors. 32 year old Harleen Maggo (see picture), a mother of two and her parents Ragvir Kaur-Kainth, 82, and Pyara Kainth, 87  all died in the fire that erupted a little bit before midnight on Saturday night. Harleen’s two children, were also trapped in the fire but were able to be rescued by the firefighters. The 8 year old girl was in critical condition while the 6 year old boy was stable. Seven other people who were also trapped in the fire were transported to the hospital with serious injuries.  Harleen Maggo had been able to escape but she decided to go back in the house on fire to try to save her parents. She never made it back outside. The house was full of wedding guests partying when the fire started. Investigators are still trying to figure out the cause of the fire. Read more in the NY Daily News  Picture source: Facebook

No working smoke alarm either in another NYC fire that erupted 6 hours later

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Two women died after their home caught fire in Queens, NYC.  The two women were an elderly mother and her daughter living on Wheatley Street in Far Rockaway.  The two women had been living in the house for 20 years. The mother was around eighty years old. Her daughter was a nurse. The fire erupted around 4:00 am on Monday and quickly spread throughout the house.  More than a hundred firemen were called to the rescue to fight the blaze. According to witnesses the fire spread so fast that they had great difficulties to get to the victims. When they finally were able to get them out they were rushed to the hospital but it was too late. They both died. Investigation is ongoing to determine what caused the fire.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Dilber Kubic a contractor accused of manipulating the gas line that led to the fatal explosion of a building in the lower east side in March 2015 is back at it. The contractor who was arrested after the accident is now doing illegal construction work in Harlem. Kubic is due to appear in court on March 23rd for the 2nd Ave accident.

MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS OPENED AGAINST THE BUILDING

According to people living in the building on West 154St in Harlem, Kubic was doing demolition work in 3 one-bedroom units to convert them into 2 two-bedrom units. Kubic doesn’t have any permit for this job. A broker for the building told the NY Daily News that he stopped working for the building after the alleged  illegal work started. He also filed a complaint that is being investigated by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. Investigators were unable to enter the building on Thursday and posted a notice for the landlord to get back to them. Journalists from the NY Daily News were able to get in and talk to tenants. They said contractors gutted all the walls in the apartments making terrible noise. The Daily News was also contacted by Joe Yusef owner of Allstate Home Remodeling who told the Newspaper that he hired Kubic to work for him. The News also called the landlord who replied that he didn’t know which apartments the News journalist was talking about. The building conditions are scary and tenants are dealing with mold, roaches and crumbling infrastructure. There are 18 violations opened with the Department of Buildings including 2 for defective elevators. In the past the landlord paid a $10,000 fine for not submitting papers to renovate the exterior of the building. He has a history of non-compliance. Read more in the NY Daily News

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two people died and 9 were injured in a fire accident in New York City. The fire started on the first floor of a building located on Hoffman Street near 87th Street in Belmont, Bronx around 1:30 am on Monday morning. After the fire broke out in one of the apartments on the first floor, tenants ran away without closing the door behind them to prevent flames from spreading. The fire quickly engulfed the rest of the building trapping residents on the second floor.  The scene was extremely chaotic as firefighters had to fight the flames to make their way upstairs to save the residents. 11 of them including a 7 year old girl were transported to the hospital, some with critical burn injuries. Two of them died shortly after.

Last December a similar fire accident occurred in the same neighborhood killing 13 people. The fire propagated in a similar manner in the building after a door was left opened by tenants as they were escaping their burning apartment. (Read previous post).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9zX2HV5k7o