Wedgwood Apartment Injury Attorneys
When firefighters arrived at the Wedgwood, they saw people on a balcony on the top story waving for help in the chilly, misty morning. The flames and heat surging from Apartment 302 held back the firefighters. Three firefighters crouched by the door of the apartment, unable to enter.Slow Evacuation
Five people, including Betz, 74, were killed in the Wedgwood fire, and a sixth, Charlene Lowry, 71, died two days later. Officials have not said if they believe the fire contributed to her death, which was caused by pneumonia and atherosclerotic disease. At least 20 people were sent to hospitals.
The Bexar County fire marshal’s office, with the assistance of federal authorities, still is investigating what caused the fire, which officials believe started in Apartment 302.
Molly Urban, 75, who lived there, died of burns and probable smoke inhalation.
Interviews with more than a dozen residents and people who responded to the Wedgwood pointed to several problems that slowed the evacuation of the apartment complex.
Between 75 and 120 elderly residents — many who had difficulty walking without help — had to be led out by first responders. Some residents on the upper floors were rescued from windows by ladder crews.
The building had 216 residential units and housed about 250 people total.
Many residents said the fire has made them question whether people their ages should live in an 11-story building, describing how some people had trouble walking down any stairs — let alone several stories.
The complex, constructed in 1962, also didn’t have a sprinkler system. Building codes updated by the city in 2012 required sprinkler systems, but the complex was “grandfathered” and not required to add them by the City.
Wedgwood is not an assisted-living facility or nursing home, and so was not regulated by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. It essentially is a regular apartment complex, just one that mainly houses seniors.
The building has a central tower, and three wings like spokes. A stairwell winds through the center of the building, and each wing ends in another stairwell, residents and responders said.
Three of the people who died were on the third floor and two on the seventh floor. One of the residents resided on the 9th floor. Dozens of residents have suffered inhalation injuries from the smoke and many are now seeking medical treatment.
The Law Firm of Carabin Shaw is now representing a number of those injured.
Additionally, the Law Firm has announced that it will be representing those with property damage only for free.
For more information, please call 210-222-2288.