On April 12, 2019, the Personal Injury Lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm discovered that five people at the Newcome Park Apartments were displaced from their home as a result of a fire that occurred overnight on April 12, 2019. The Personal Injury Lawyers and Carbon Monoxide Lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm were informed that the fire began in the attic just above the top floor of one of the apartments. Fire officials reported that everyone was evacuated safely from the building but that two people had to be treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Although the individuals were safely evacuated, the two individuals who suffered from smoke inhalation might potentially suffer permanently damaging health effects. According to experts used by the San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers and Carbon Monoxide Lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm, as a fire grows, the generation of smoke and toxic gases typically grows exponentially, so that evacuation during the early stages of a fire is critical to avoiding significant exposure to fire toxicants. Carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are the two key toxicants in fire-related deaths. Studies indicate that 75%-80% of all fire victims suffer significant smoke inhalation.
Unfortunately, smoke contains poison that can cause permanent damage. For example, carbon monoxide is a powerful toxicant, because it is essentially 250 times stronger than oxygen. As the body becomes oxygen-deficient, the functioning of the heart and other vital organs will begin to decrease. Continued exposure to carbon monoxide will lead to incapacitation and, eventually, death.
Furthermore, Cyanide has an affinity for cytochrome c oxidase, and the brain has a high concentration of this oxidase. Due to its reliance on oxidative metabolism and its limited anaerobic ability, the central nervous system is particularly susceptible to the effects of cyanide. Ultimately, cyanide, at sufficient concentrations, causes metabolic acidosis, histotoxic anoxia, paralysis of the respiratory center in the brain, and, ultimately, death.
Additionally, exposure to irritant gases commonly contained within smoke, such as hydrogen bromide and hydrogen fluoride, can result in lung inflammation and edema within the first few hours of exposure followed by more acute bronchitis and pneumonia. Furthermore, exposure to asphyxiant gases (e.g., carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide) can result in brain damage, neuropathological and neuropsychological sequels, personality changes, mood disorders, and cardiovascular problems. Due to exposure to smoke and particulates, long term sensitization of the respiratory tract can also occur.
Ultimately, if you or a loved one have been affected by the harmful toxins as a result of a fire or have been involved in a carbon monoxide incident, call the Personal Injury Lawyers and Carbon Monoxide Lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm at 210-340-5550.