A two alarm apartment fire damaged four units, displaced at least 20 tenants, and claimed the life of one cat in Lakeside, CA outside San Diego on Wednesday.
A gas barbecue malfunction triggered the fire. Several propane tanks exploded shortly thereafter, and residents fled their homes in the commotion.
UPDATE: Mapleview IC reporting knockdown; primary & secondary searches all clear; no civilian or FF injuries; one pet fatality (cat). pic.twitter.com/k3hWz6i3vS— Lakeside Fire (LKS) (@LakesideFire) June 22, 2017
Heartland Fire Department personnel arrived shortly after the alarm sounded to smoke and flames engulfing the complex. Authorities attributed the fire to strong winds, which pushed a large volume of fire from the grill towards the home.
“The owner took quick action to try and knock it down. He evacuated not only his unit but the rest of the building,” Heartland Fire Chief Don Butz told Fox 5.
Temperatures in the San Diego area reached as high as 120 degrees yesterday, sending some Californians scrambling for comfort.
With temps soaring into triple digits in much of the Southwest, staying prepared for an inhospitable climate can keep you safer.
Landlord Responsibility During Extreme Weather
Across the United States, extreme weather events occur at an alarming rate, and it’s only getting worse. Roughly 30 percent of humans face climate conditions like elevated temperature and humidity beyond a deadly threshold “for at least 20 days a year,” and that number will increase to anywhere from 48 to 74 percent of the global population, according to a recent study published by Nature Climate Change. It’s not unthinkable many Americans will face those same struggles, and already do.
In many cities and states, public ordinances or municipal codes require landlords to provide heat, A.C., and more depending on prevailing climate conditions. Landlords must provide screening, air condition, and grass cutting to tenants during the summer months in Washington D.C., according to the city’s Office of the Tenant Advocate. In New York, landlords must ensure year-round access to hot water and meet heating requirements during “Heat Season.”
Other places may have requirements like this, or create them during emergencies like blizzards, hurricanes, or heat waves.
Responding to the threat of extreme weather requires preparation, and not just on your part. Landlords are notoriously stingy when it comes to providing necessities like heating during the winter. Even if it’s just an inconvenience or it’s only a serious problem a couple days out of the year, it matters. In dangerous circumstances, your life could be at risk.
If you believe you suffered an injury or injustice because of landlord negligence, you have rights. Contact our knowledgeable attorneys today for more information.
For now, Lakeside residents are thankful no one was seriously injured. “I was just hoping there was nobody in there,” eyewitness Kathy Smith said to NBC San Diego. “There was a real loud bang and the flames got really big and it was pretty scary,” Smith said.
(Editor’s Note: This is a news story from the ‘Morgan Monitor,’ a news wire offering legal perspectives on news in your community.)
Feature photo not of the apartment fire described.