Three children have been seriously injured as a result of a house fire in Hyattsville, Maryland, and a 9-year-old girl, Kimberly Hernandez, has been tragically killed. The incident occurred in the 4700 block of 40th Avenue which is in Prince Georges County Maryland. The fire broke out at about 4 in the morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marcos Hernandez and his family. The fire is currently under investigation, but the initial reports from the Fire Marshall seem to be saying the fire was accidental.

I would strongly suggest that the parents of the children injured in this fire consider hiring their own private investigators to look into the cause of this fire; and whether perhaps the landlord is responsible. Sometimes the fire departments in under-funded Maryland counties cut corners in their fire investigations and the evidence obtained is not complete enough to pursue a legal claim for personal injury as a result of the fire. Whenever there is a house fire like this, there are many questions that need to be answered.

  • Did the Maryland house have working smoke detectors and batteries?
  • Was there a sprinkler system in place?
  • Did the house meet the requirements of the applicable building code and the Prince George’s County Fire Code and Building Code?
  • Was the wood base of the house made of an appropriate building material that could withstand fire?

The House where this fire and these terrible injuries occurred is apparently a Sears Roebuck house which means that is probably a very old house that was flammable and made of wood. One must wonder whether the landlord properly maintained the house; and did the proper maintenance on such an old wood based home. Such Sears houses were built usually in the early 20th century (1908-1940 or so). It is important that the children of those injured in this PG County Fire do what needs to be done to preserve and document the evidence that will be needed to prove a negligence case down the road. A personal injury lawyer can be helpful with researching this information and help to explain the legal options that may be available to those that are victims of a house fire.