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Quincy Apartment Where Fire Killed Father and Two Children Was in Illegal Basement and Didn’t Have Sprinklers or Working Smoke Alarm

According to the Quincy building commissioner, the apartment where a man and his two children were killed in a fire on Wednesday was illegally constructed in a basement that did not contain sprinklers or a working smoke detector. Three other families who live in the apartment building say that the smoke alarms in their units also do not work.

The white building, made in 1927 on Robertson Street, was only authorized to house four apartment buildings, yet additional apartments had been constructed in the basement and attic. While there were smoke alarms in building’s hallways, per state law, they had accidentally been deactivated.

Investigators are still trying to find out what caused the fire that ignited a sofa in the basement at around 3am, filling the apartment with thick smoke. While the man, Oudah Frawi, and his two sons, Ali Oudah, 1, and Hassan, 2-months-old, died, firefighters transported his wife Terri Night to Massachusetts General Hospital where she was admitted to the burn trauma unit with critical injuries.

The fire has damaged the building and many residents are currently unable to return to it.

Premises Liability
Apartment landlords are responsible for making sure that all safety devices are installed and are proper working condition on the premises and there are no hazardous or dangerous conditions that could cause injury or death to residents, visitors, or patrons. They also must make sure that there are no inadequate security conditions that could allow for violent crimes to occur on the property.

Some conditions on a premise that could be grounds for landlord negligence if someone gets hurt or dies:
• Lead paint • Asbestos fibers • Broken window • Lack of security measures • Defective pool drain • Nonworking smoke alarms • Electrical hazards
Quincy fire victims died in illegal apartment, BostonHerald.com, March 25, 2009
Quincy fire consumes life made anew in US, Boston.com, March 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Inspectional Services Department, City of Boston

Premises Liability Overview, Justia
If you or someone you love was injured because a landlord or another property owner was negligent or careless in exercising these duties of care, contact our Boston premises liability lawyers to discuss your case.