In Ocean City Fire, Two Investigators Confirm The Identities Of Two Victims

Investigators In Ocean City, Maryland say that they have positively identified two of the people who were killed when a mobile home on 135th street caught fire. William Alascio, 49, and Jacqueline Robusto, 44. Robusto was ID’d after a fingerprint comparison conducted by the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s Office. Alascio’s identity was verified using medical records. Both of them lived in the mobile home.

An autopsy report is pending, and there will also be a toxicology report.

The U.S. Fire Administration says mobile and manufactured homes come with certain risks. Statistically, there is a higher fire death rate, compared to other kinds of houses, for every 100 manufactured homes. One factor leading to this is that manufactured homes often don’t have smoke alarms.

Injury and death because of fire can have life altering consequences for survivors who have been seriously injured, as well as their families. The burn injuries that result from a fire can be severe, and loss of a loved one in a fire can be very traumatic.

The personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen handles personal injury cases for victims of fires in Maryland and the Washington D.C. area. We will work with you to determine the cause and source of the fire, figure out the amount of damages to the property, as well as take into account the extent of the victim’s injuries, including the loss of life. We will look for evidence of arson, landlord or neighbor negligence, negligence when setting up the electrical system, and negligence in following fire regulations when designing the home. We will also examine photographic evidence.

It is important that you speak with a personal injury attorney right away so that he or she can assess the extent of the injuries and damages while the physical evidence is still available.

Each year, nearly 2.5 million people sustain burn injuries, with thousands of these burn victims dying and close to a million of them sustaining significant or permanent injuries and disabilities. For survivors of a burn accident, the recovery period can be long and painful.

The Doe Report offers some facts and statistics about burn injuries:

Burn is defined as tissue damage caused by a variety of agents, such as heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or nuclear radiation. Most common are burns caused by scalds, building fires, and flammable liquids and gases.

• First-degree burns affect only the outer layer (called the epidermis) of the skin.

• Second-degree burns damage the epidermis and the layer beneath it (called the dermis).

• Third-degree burns involve damage or complete destruction of the skin to its full depth and damage to underlying tissues. People who experience such burns often require skin grafting.

• The swelling and blistering characteristic of burns are caused by the loss of fluid from damaged blood vessels.

• In severe cases, such fluid loss can cause shock, requiring immediate transfusion of the patient with blood or a physiological salt solution to restore adequate fluid levels to maintain blood pressure.

• Burns often lead to infection, due to damage to the skin’s protective barrier. In many cases, topical antibiotics (creams or ointments applied to the skin) can prevent or treat such infection. The three topical antibiotics that are most widely used are silver sulfadiazene cream, mafenide acetate cream, and silver nitrate.

• According to the American Burn Association, each year in the United States, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention.

• Approximately 50,000 of these require hospitalization, and roughly half of those burn patients are admitted to a specialized burn unit.

• Each year, approximately 4,500 of these people die.

• Up to 10,000 people in the United States die every year of burn-related infections; pneumonia is the most common infectious complication among hospitalized burn patients.

• Twenty years ago, burns covering half the body were routinely fatal; today, patients with burns covering 90 percent of the body can survive (but often with permanent impairments).

• Practices that have contributed to this improvement include advances in resuscitation, wound cleaning and follow-up care, nutritional support, and infection control.

• Grafting with natural or artificial materials can also speed the healing process.

• Complications following injury, shock, or burns may occur long after the initial incident, often when the patient is in an intensive care unit (ICU). Many ICU patients face similar medical problems regardless of the reason for their admission into the unit.

• The leading causes of death in ICUs are multiple organ system dysfunction, in which several of the body’s organs fail at once, and adult respiratory distress syndrome, in which the lungs in particular fail. In both conditions, the organs of the body are ravaged by the patient’s own immune system, leading to severe, debilitating, and uncontrolled inflammation.

• Improving methods of wound healing and tissue repair offers tremendous opportunities to enhance the quality of life for trauma and burn patients, and may also help to reduce health care costs.

• Scientists are investigating ways to treat wounds caused by trauma, burns, or surgical interventions with biological agents (e.g. growth factors) or new drugs.

If you have sustained a burn injury because someone else was negligent or if someone you love was killed because a negligent act caused an unnecessary fire, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen for a free consultation.

Ocean City Fire Victims Identified,, March 10, 2007
Trauma, Burn, Shock, and Injury: Facts and Figures, Doe Report

Related Web Resources:

Burn Injuries, Shriners Hospital
Fire Safety and Burns – Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital

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