Winter storms can be a huge threat to people’s safety. Whether you are on the roads in even in your own home, you need to be cautious when there is severe weather in the area. Things like fires may happen, and it’s important to do everything in your power to stay safe. Even then, it may not be enough.
In one particular case, a firefighter got in trouble for not doing their job. The Houston Fire Department reprimanded a firefighter for misconduct after an investigation into a delayed 911 response to a case in which a mother and daughter died of carbon monoxide poisoning. An investigation in July revealed that first responders initially decided not to enter a Houston family’s home during the massive winter storm that hit Texas in February 2021, a decision that resulted in a couple and their two children being exposed to the lethal gas for an additional three hours. In a letter to the Texas attorney general, Houston officials stated that the “allegations of misconduct in this investigation were sustained and disciplinary action was taken against the firefighter.” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said that it appeared a fire captain in the dispatch center “failed to provide the necessary information for the people on scene to make the appropriate decision.”
Poor safety policies contributed to the worst carbon monoxide poisoning catastrophe in recent history as Texas has confirmed at least 19 deaths from carbon monoxide after residents tried to stay warm by using barbecue grills, running their cars or starting up portable generators in enclosed spaces. There may be potential legislation to require carbon monoxide detectors in more homes. Texas was one of only six states with no statewide requirement for carbon monoxide detectors in homes, resulting in uneven protections for residents. The Texas Legislature later passed a measure that requires carbon monoxide alarms in homes built or renovated starting this year. This would not apply to existing homes however.
If you or a loved one have been affected by an accident or death, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.