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“Favorite Attorney”

Voted Seventh Year in a Row

Meet Attorney Frank Jenkins

Fortunately There Was Only Smoke, and No Fire In Lexington Theater

On January 26, the Carmike Cinema on Mapleleaf Drive in Lexington had to be completely evacuated after it filled up with smoke. It was scary for the movie-goers as the entire building was being evacuated but it was quickly determined that a fan belt in a blower motor on the roof was the cause of the smoke and it was fixed. According to wkyt.com, there was no damage to the building and most importantly, no one was injured.

One day later, in Santa Maria, Brazil, there was a much different outcome after a fire in a commercial building, where 234 lives were lost, mostly due to smoke inhalation, from a fire in a nightclub. The fire was reportedly ignited from a flare that the performing band was using in their pyrotechnic show. It was a flare designed to be used outdoors and not indoors. The band was aware of this but chose the outdoor flare assumedly because it was less expensive.

There were many reasons that this fire turned into such a tragedy. The nightclub had expired fire and municipal licenses, faulty and fake fire extinguishers, was filled beyond legal capacity with patrons and the exit doors were allegedly locked by security guards for a few minutes when the fire started and people stampeded towards the one exit door causing chaos, according to cnn.com.

The criminal investigation is ongoing and the Santa Maria public prosecutor has said that it was also begin an investigation to establish civil liability, the report said.

In the US, codes are usually strictly enforced and the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)  administers the regulations regarding workplace safety, including emergency exits from commercial buildings.

One such OSHA regulation that would have helped prevent the tragedy in Brazil is the requirement that exit doors must only be locked from the outside. Employees and others must be able to open the door from the inside at all times without having to use a key, tool or special knowledge. The exceptions are in prisons or mental health facilities in which staff is available to unlock the door 24 hours a day.

However, if despite these regulations in the US, you or a loved one suffers serious personal injuries  due to the negligence of a property owner, contact a personal injury attorney  immediately to determine if you are eligible for medical compensation and other related expenses.