One resident of a boarding house in Seattle’s University District was killed and three others sustained injuries on Thursday, December 29, 2005 when the house went up in flames. Yexin Tan, a female resident, sustained burns to thirty percent of her body and died on Monday, January 3, 2006 as a result of her injuries. She was 39-years old.
Another resident broke his leg as he jumped out of a second story window in order to escape the flames.
A Fire Department Captain sustained burns to his hand and also required hospitalization.
Seattle Fire Department Spokesperson Helen Fitzpatrick said that the fire was accidental but the exact cause remains under investigation. The Fire Department had no record of inspecting the building for fire code violations. Fitzpatrick told reporters that she did not know whether the building had functioning smoke alarms. Damage to the house was estimated at $275,000.00. More information about the fire can be found at the following links: Fire Injures Residents, Damages House; University District Blaze Causes Injuries; Woman Dies From Injuries Sustained in House Fire.
If the property owner maintained the home in an unsafe manner, he or she is potentially liable for the residents’ injuries and property damage.