NYC Sees Fewest Fire Deaths Ever Recorded in 2016

NEW YORK -
FILE – Flames rise from an apartment building fire on the Upper East Side in New York on Thursday, Oct. 27. (Matt Bonaccorso via AP)

New York City had the fewest deaths from fire last year since record-taking began 100 years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced Monday.

The 48 people who died in fires in 2016 were a 9 percent decline in serious fires, the largest annual decrease since 2008. The mayor also credited dropping response times to fires and life-threatening medical emergencies. Emergency workers responded 5 seconds fewer for fires, 21 seconds less for medical calls last year.

“Never has our city been as safe from the ravages of fire as we are today, thanks to the heroic work of our firefighters and all FDNY personnel,” de Blasio said.

The first year when fire deaths dropped below 100 came a decade ago. There were 59 deaths in 2015. The deadliest year in New York City for fires was 1970, when 310 people died.

The causes of last year’s fire deaths, as determined by fire marshals, are as follows: 14 due to electrical causes, 12 smoking, 11 cooking, 3 incendiary, 2 each from open flame, incense and liquid/gas ignition and 1 from a hot object. There is one case still under investigation.

Overall, the city saw 2,313 serious fires, meaning it was a full one-alarm assignment or higher.