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Massachusetts Fire Deaths Lowest in Almost 70 Years

The New Year brought good news to Boston and Massachusetts residents. The Massachusetts state fire marshal says 35 people were killed by fire in Massachusetts last year, the lowest number in nearly seven decades. As Massachusetts attorneys, we have represented victims of fire in wrongful death cases and serious burn cases.

Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan attributed the low number to a variety of factors, including the widespread use of smoke detectors; fire-safe cigarette laws; public education campaigns that also target children; better training of firefighters and paramedics; and better burn treatment at hospitals. Coan said smoke detectors are the first ingredient in home fire safety. Also important is holding home fire drills so everyone knows how to leave safely, he said.
 
Coan’s office says 17 men, 13 women, and five children died in residential, car and outdoor fires in 2009. That was down from 49 in 2008, and the lowest number since the early 1940s. Coan said smoking remains the leading cause of fire deaths. The number of smoking-related fire fatalities dropped from 17 in 2007 to eight in 2009.
 
Remarkably, Boston, the largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, reported no fire-related deaths in 2009, the fire marshal’s office reported. There were four in Springfield, the state’s third-largest city, and one in Worcester, the second-largest city. In addition, there were no fire-related deaths of firefighters in 2009, Coan said.
 
The U.S. Fire Safety Administration says Massachusetts has one of the lowest fire death rates in the nation. We remain dedicated to keeping our clients informed of any and all safety information.