Christopher Pienta Died In Zion Apartment Fire on White Pine Lane
Unsafe Premises - Wrongful Death - June 20, 2023
Christopher Pienta Died From Smoke Inhalation and Fire Related Injuries Following Zion Apartment Fire
LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS (June 20, 2023) – A 68-year-old man identified as Christopher Pienta has died following a Zion apartment fire on West Pine Lane.
Lake County officials are saying that the fire began around 6:45 p.m. on Friday. Firefighters were called to the scene and entered one unit with an active blaze where they found Christopher Pienta.
The man was removed from the unit and transported to the hospital in critical condition. Sadly, though, Christopher Pienta later died from smoke inhalation and fire-related injuries.
A full investigation into the Lake County apartment fire remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Zion Apartment Fires
Residential fires remain one of the leading causes of preventable death and injury in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “More than one-quarter (26%) of reported fires in 2015-2019 occurred in homes. Even worse, three-quarters (75%) of civilian fire deaths and almost three-quarters (72%) of all reported injuries were caused by home fires.” These fires resulted in an estimated 2,260 civil deaths and 11,070 civilian injuries. There are many potential causes of residential fires.
- Cooking accidents
- Electrical malfunctions
- Malfunctioning appliances
All landlords in Illinois have a legal obligation to take steps to prevent fires on their property. Pursuant to Illinois Civil Code (740 ILCS 130/1), property owners must maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. When a property owner has actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition with their property, they must take action. Failing to take action to remedy a dangerous condition could form the basis of a negligence claim.
There are a number of measures apartment owners should take to prevent fires. For example, apartments should have working smoke detectors. These smoke detectors should be periodically inspected. Certain apartments should also have adequate fire escapes and automatic closing doors for each apartment. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any apartment fire.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- The source of the blaze should be determined.
- Maintenance records for the apartment should be reviewed.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
The vast majority of apartment fires are preventable. Depending on the specific facts of any case, there could be numerous liable parties. The family of any person that died in an apartment fire may be able to seek some measure of accountability through a civil claim. It is important that all evidence is properly preserved after any fire. Evidence is what will ultimately be used to determine liability.
Investigating Zion Apartment Fires
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Christopher Pienta. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Zion apartment fire? Our team of fire code safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that tenants are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.