For the second year in a row, Boston had the lowest number of fire deaths for large cities, recording one fatality in 2012, fire officials said today.
One person died in a Dorchester apartment building fire on Jan. 3, 2012, Boston fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald said. In 2011, there was one fatal fire; 2010 had two fire deaths; and no one was killed in 2009, he said.
“For a city our size, with the fire load we have of 4,061 fires in 2012 ... this is a good achievement,” MacDonald said.
Officials provided statistics for other cities: Baltimore had 12 fire related deaths in 2012; Philadelphia had 25; Milwaukee had eight; Washington, D.C., had seven; and Phoenix had six, officials said.
MacDonald attributed Boston’s low fire fatality rate in part to the city’s commitment to fully staffing the department. Some 50 new recruits are joining the department in February 2013.
“Having ‘boots on the street’ working in the neighborhood firehouses, ready to respond is the first line of defense,” the fire department said in a statement.
MacDonald also noted that the fire department has a proactive fire prevention division, working with developers and contractors to ensure that fire codes and regulations are followed.