Justice is taking its first step after the deadliest residential fire in Las Vegas history. On December 21, 2019, a fire inside the Alpine Motel Apartments left 60 people homeless, injured 13, and took the lives of 6 people. Among the fatalities is Tracy Ann Cihal, aged 57. Her family is now pursuing a wrongful death claim against the owner of the building.
Uninhabitable and Unreasonably Dangerous
The investigation of the property’s non-compliance with fire code paints a frightening scene. From 2013 to the present, it failed 11 fire inspections. Additionally, the building was not inspected at all for 3 years during this period.
The day after the fire, inspectors cited the property for 16 fire code violations. A bolt on the ground floor door prohibited safe exit and smoke detectors were missing throughout the building. Furthermore, the fire alarm and fire doors were not code compliant.
Residents voiced safety and habitability concerns about the building before. Among them was the lack of heating in the building. City fire investigators now believe a resident using a stove for heating caused the fire. The week before the fire, Cihal was about to submit a complaint about leaking and ventilation problems in her unit.
The Night of the Fire
These dangerous conditions at the Alpine Motel Apartments created a trap on the night of the fire. Survivors said the bolted exit door on the ground floor blocked their escape. Others on the second and third stories jumped or hung outside their windows.
Cihal was a widow who used a walker to get around. Firefighters found her body near the bolted exit door on the ground floor after they extinguished the fire.
Survivors Deserve What’s Right
The history of the Alpine Motel Apartments and the findings of the current investigation will likely play a significant role in the wrongful death claim on behalf of Cihal’s family. The claim will seek to provide damages for her family. Money cannot make a tragedy right, but it does compensate for losses including funeral expenses, property damage, and loss of companionship.
If you suffered a loved one’s death, or any other loss arising out of an accident, justice demands the at-fault party pay. It’s What’s Right. We at Sam & Ash, LLP are dedicated to your justice. Call us for a free consultation at 1 (800) 304-2000. We are here for you any hour, day or night because you deserve to be heard now.