FDNY: Fire fatalities drop 5 percent in ’20 1

Fire deaths in the city fell the second straight year.

Fire deaths in New York City dropped by 5 percent in 2020, according to a statement issued by the FDNY on Tuesday.

Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, in his statement, said the 63 civilian fire deaths in 2020 were three fewer than in 2019.

Nigro said it marks the 15th consecutive year there have been fewer than 100 fire-related deaths, continuing an unprecedented period in New York City history.

“While 2020 was filled with tremendous pain for our department, with 12 of our members lost to Covid-19, this year also demonstrated once more the unwavering bravery and tremendous resilience of the FDNY,” Nigro said.

“Our EMTs and paramedics faced the busiest period in EMS history during the height of the pandemic, responding day and night to thousands upon thousands of calls for help, with the utmost professionalism and care for their patients. Our firefighters raced into burning buildings as they have for 155 years and continued to reduce the number of lives lost to fire. The life-saving efforts of all our members during this horrific year — especially as so many of our members themselves battled Covid-19 — are truly remarkable.”

The deadliest year in New York City for fires was 1970, when 310 people died in them. The lowest total deaths in recent years was 48 back in 2016. The top causes of fatal fires last year were determined to be electrical (28), smoking (12), incendiary (6) and cooking (4).

“2020 was a year unlike any other — but New Yorkers know that no matter what’s thrown at them, New York’s Bravest will answer the call and keep them safe,” Mayor de Blasio said. “We should all be proud of this achievement, and I’ll stand with FDNY to help make even more strides on fire safety in 2021.”

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