Virginia Barth Died In Highland Apartment Fire
Unsafe Premises - December 28, 2023
Virginia Barth, 68, Died Following Apartment Fire In Highland Along Herzog Lane
HIGHLAND, ILLINOIS (December 28, 2023) – A 68-year-old woman identified as Virginia Barth has tragically died in a Madison County apartment fire at 2942 Herzog Lane in Highland.
Highland police officials are saying that the incident began around 10:00 p.m. on Saturday. Police were called to a single-story, six unit apartment.
Firefighters got reports that a woman was trapped inside Unit D. They entered the apartment in order to rescue Virginia Barth.
She was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in order to receive treatment. Sadly, she could not be saved and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
A full investigation into the apartment fire that killed Virginia Barth remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Highland Apartment Fires
Residential fires remain a leading cause of preventable injury and death in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Over the five-year period of 2015–2019 as a whole, cooking was the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, while smoking was the leading cause of home fire deaths.” An apartment fire may take place for a number of different reasons.
- Cooking accidents are one of the main causes of apartment fires.
- Faulty or damaged appliances may also pose a substantial fire risk.
- Space heaters near blankets or other flammable materials could lead to a fire.
- Lithium ion batteries can overheat and explode thereby causing a fire.
Depending on the facts of any case, an apartment owner could be liable for the death of a resident in an apartment fire. Pursuant to Illinois Civil Code (740 ILCS 130/1), property owners must maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. To that extent, apartment owners must abide by all building and fire codes. This will typically include installing fire extinguishers and sprinklers. There are a number of ways that an apartment owner may have been negligent and contributed to an apartment fire.
- An apartment owner may have failed to address building code violations.
- An apartment owner may have failed to fix appliances that caused a fire.
- An apartment owner may have failed to correct and open and obvious hazard that led to a fire.
The vast majority of apartment fires are preventable. When a fire does take place, serious injury and death is often avoidable. However, there are a number of situations where residents may become trapped inside of their units. This may occur due to a number of different reasons including illegal building modifications. The family of any person that died in an apartment fire may have legal recourse through a premises liability claim.
Investigating Highland Apartment Fires
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Virginia Barth. 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 Highland apartment fire? Our team of tenant’s rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims 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.