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How do I seek damages resulting from a Fire in the Apartment next door

New York, NY |

There was a fire in the apartment next door that caused damage to my apartment. The insurance company of the apartment next door is refusing to admit liability as they say there is no proof of negligence.

I obtained the Official Fire Report and it confirms that the fire originated from a heater in the apartment, "but it does not confirm the cause of the heater catching fire."

I have been told that I need to prove there was negligence from the unit owner or prove there was a defect in the heater that caused the fire. Otherwise, if the cause of the fire cannot be determined, I will be unable to pursue recovery.

It has been nearly a year since the fire and I don't know how I can prove negligence. Is there anything I can do? I feel like I am being treated unfairly.

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Attorney answers 3


If you have your own insurance that is the way to go. You have been told the correct thing. You need to show the people in the other apartment were negligent or you can't make a case against them.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Unless you can prove negligence, you will have to use your own insurance coverage.


Try your own insurance company. You can also sue the other tenant and the owner of the building. You have the burden of proving liability. You will need to prove what caused the accident by having an expert testify, the fire Marshall would be helpful.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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