On the morning of Wednesday, April 24th, firefighters put out an apartment fire in a building near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 60th Street. Crews responded to the apartment building around 10:45 am with multiple units and were able to get the fire under control just before 11 am. 

Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief James Bowron reported that when fire crews arrived, they saw a fire burning on the first floor of the apartment building. Smoke was pouring out, said Bowron, and three burn victims had already been pulled from the structure.

The three injured burn victims appeared to be construction workers who were working on renovating a vacant apartment on the first floor of the two-story, four-unit building where the fire took place. One victim suffered very critical injuries, according to Bowron, while another suffered minor injuries, and the third was in stable condition. 

Ambulances transported the victims with critical and minor injuries to local area hospitals for treatment.

The fire was a quick flash fire, initially high energy and heavy smoke which caused some windows in the apartment to break. The fire was contained before it extended to other parts of the building. Until power can be restored to the building, occupants from the three other units will be temporarily displaced. 

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, but they suspect some sort of chemical cleaning agent was being used in the apartment. However, they are still unsure if the cleaning agent was involved in initiating the fire. 

The Oakland Police Department was called to the scene to help with traffic control. 

What Causes Burns In Construction Accidents?

Construction accidents are dangerous and can be devastating for those involved, especially when burns are involved. Causes of burns in construction accidents can range from electrical accidents to chemical exposure, and more. While these accidents cannot always be prevented because they may be out of the employers’ control, it is important that both employers and construction workers alike take the proper precautions to prevent burn injuries. 

Victims of burns can suffer from:

  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of function in the affected areas/limbs
  • Infections
  • Physical pain
  • Permanent disability
  • Respiratory problems
  • Psychological impacts (like PTSD)

Causes of Construction Accidents

In order to work to prevent construction accidents, we must understand what causes them in the first place. Some common causes include: 

  • Lack of proper safety training 
  • Lack of proper job site education
  • Improper or inadequate maintenance of machinery and other equipment
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Electrical accidents caused by factors like unsafe practices, or faulty electrical wiring
  • Accidents caused by or involving heavy machinery and other equipment
  • Lack of supervision
  • Miscommunication on the job site
  • Collapses and structural failures
  • Chemical exposure 
  • Falling objects
  • And more

These can lead to injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, burns, temporary or permanent disabilities, and more. 

While accidents happen, some things can be done to help prevent construction accidents, including:

  • Comprehensive safety training programs
  • Conducting regular safety checks and inspections
  • Task-specific training for things like operating machinery and handling hazardous materials

Legal Recourse After Sustaining Burn Injuries In A Construction Accident

Construction workers who’ve suffered burns in a construction accident have a few options for taking legal action. 

“As a personal injury attorney, I’ve seen firsthand how devastating burn injuries can be,”  says attorney Brett Schreiber, of Singleton Schreiber, “It is important that the victims of Tuesday’s construction accident, and others who have experienced similar situations know that they may have legal recourse. Contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling construction accident claims to learn more about your options.” 

Depending on the nature of the accident and your employer, you may be able to file:

  • A worker’s compensation claim
  • A personal injury lawsuit
  • A third-party claim
  • A product liability claim

If you or a loved one have sustained a burn injury, or another injury when involved in a construction accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Singleton Schreiber by email at info@singletonschreiber.com.