Apartment Fire Kills One, Forces Thirty to Evacuate


Apartment fires can have serious consequences.


One Man Dead in Downtown Apartment Fire

According to a San Antonio Express-News report, an apartment fire broke out at around 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, that forced thirty residents to evacuate. The Villa Hermosa apartments at 327 N. Flores St suffered at least $30,000 worth of damage before firefighters were able to put out the flames, and one man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition due to smoke inhalation. He later died at the hospital and was identified as 69-year-old Gilbert Dauphina. Officials still do not know what caused the fire, and no other injuries were reported.

Did You Know?

Texas consistently ranks as the leading state for residential fire fatalities, with the most affected age group being those 65 years and older.

Residential Fires in Texas

Since the pandemic in 2020, there has been an increased focus on staying home, whether it be working from home, quarantining when you’re sick, or choosing to cook more meals at home rather than eating takeout. The home should be a haven of safety for both yourself and your family, whether in a house or an apartment complex. Unfortunately, a residential fire can turn a comfortable living place into a deadly trap – 92% of all civilian fire deaths are caused by residential fires. Some of the most common causes of residential fires include:

  1. Smoking – cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, as well as smoking equipment such as lighters, caused 60 fatal residential fires in 2018 alone. The NFPA recommends taking your smoking outside, as most of these fires were started in the bedroom, living room, and dens. 
  2. Cooking – the kitchen is the most common room in the home for accidental fires. Whether it be from unattended stovetops or faulty equipment, the kitchen is full of potential fire hazards. 
  3. Heaters – 23 fatal residential fires in 2018 were caused by heating equipment, such as space heaters, fireplaces, and heating systems. These fires are mostly contained in the winter months of December, January, and February, but it’s important to be vigilant about fire safety around space heaters year-round.

Owners of an apartment complex in San Antonio have a duty to keep their complexes safe with up-to-date electrical and heating systems, fully functioning smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, and clearly marked, unblocked exits. Additionally, manufacturers of home appliances have a responsibility to design their products in such a way that they are safe to use when used as intended. Unfortunately, neither product manufacturers nor apartment owners always abide by this responsibility, and thousands of people are injured as a result.

Injuries From an Apartment Fire

Apartment fires don’t just cause property damage – serious injuries and death can occur due to residential fires, such as:

  • Burn Injuries – ranging from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree,
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – from smoke inhalation,
  • And Brain Damage – smoke inhalation can lead to permanent injury to the brain.

Unfortunately, injuries from an apartment fire or residential fire are often the result of negligence or the failure of another party to exercise their reasonable duty of care. 

Apartment Fire Attorneys Serving San Antonio

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an apartment fire in San Antonio, the attorneys at Carabin Shaw can help with your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Contact us today at 800-862-1260 and draw on our 30 years of experience with your free case evaluation. We look forward to serving you.

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