This case involves a fire that occurred in a large apartment building in a built-up, urban area. The fire allegedly began in a utility closet in the building’s basement, where electrical connections for the building’s coin-operated washing and clothes dryer laundry machines short-circuited. The fire began to spread to the area around the utility closet, and despite the fact that the fire produced heavy smoke, no smoke alarms had been installed in the basement to warn residents of the spreading blaze. As the fire continued to spread, several residents became trapped in their apartments and had to be rescued by firefighters. Despite the efforts of the fire department to save all of the trapped residents, a number of people perished in the blaze. It was alleged that the building should have installed smoke detectors near the utility closet in order to warn residents of a fire.