Two different fires broke out at a low-income apartment building in Dallas this week, taking a life of a firefighter and displacing multiple families.
An initial investigation has revealed that both apartment complex fires were electrical in nature and that the buildings have a history of code violations and negligent owners.
Both families who reported fires at the Ridgecrest Terrace Apartments off of the Keeneland Parkway said that they had complained about their wiring and electricity in the past, but nothing was done about it. After Tony Derrough, one of the fire’s victims said that he had been having problems with an electric stove, firefighters confirmed that the stove started one of the blazes.
The Texas apartment building has been dealing with premises liability issues since 2004, including issues with a leaking roof and wiring problems. Dallas has filed lawsuits against the owners of the building on two different occasions and found code violations multiple times over the years. While the two families who experienced apartment fires said that they had complained to their landlord, neither went to the authorities or outreach workers to report the poor maintenance and safety issues.
During the two-fire blaze, Lt. Todd Krodle of the Dallas Fire Department fell through a floor and was killed trying fight the fire.