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Shapiro & Appleton

Motel Fire in Newport News, Virginia (VA), Kills One Man

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Fire investigators were sifting through the charred remains of a hotel room in Newport News, Virginia (VA), this week after a fire that claimed the life of a middle aged man over the weekend.

It's not yet known whether there were any faults at the hotel that could lead to a wrongful death claim, but this is always a possibility in cases where residents die in hotel rooms.

Newport News Battalion Chief Stephen Pincus said investigators may not know the cause of the fire or have a confirmed identification of the victim until later this week. The fatal fire at Travelers Inn, on Jefferson Avenue, was detected just after 4:30 pm Saturday, the Daily Press reported.

"They are going to recreate the room as if nothing went on, and then look for burn patterns and different things to try to locate a point of origin," Pincus said. "There are a number of things we'll try to rule out based upon the findings, until we can determine how and where it started."

Fire investigatos will interview motel staff and guests. Pinkus said the smoke detector log indicated that the room's equipment had been recently checked.

The victim's room was the only one that sustained damage.

Our firm has reported on numerous deaths from fires, including that of a man who died in a house fire in Newport, North Carolina (NC), two years ago. If faulty equipment is found to have caused a fire, or there is negligence on the part of a business, a vicitim or his or her family may have a legal claim.

For instance, the December 2006 recall of Lasko Products portable fans came eight months too late for 7-year-old Joshua Foster. The boy died from burns and smoke inhalation when the Chinese-made electric motor in the Lasko fan Joshua's mother was using to cool her bedroom on June 14, 2005, malfunctioned, threw sparks and started the fire that consumed Joshua's Mount Airy, Pennsylvania (PA), home and took young Joshua's life. A jury awarded Joshua's family $13.5 million.

Our firm has helped clients take lawsuits out against hotels. In one case a man who received a deep wound to his hand after a glass carafe shattered at a Marriott hotel, received a $70,000 settlement.

DM


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