Annual fire deaths in New York City hit 100-year-low

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(FDNY)

Fire deaths in New York are on the decline. (FDNY)

NEW YORK — Annual fire deaths in the city hit a 100-year-low, the FDNY announced on Monday.

The department attributed the decline to a faster response time to fires and a 9 percent decline in serious fires from the previous year.

“We pushed ourselves to save even more lives in 2016,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The department cut its response time to fires by five seconds. It also dropped 21 seconds in its response for medical calls.

Electrical fires, smoking and cooking were the leading cause of fire deaths in New York last year. About 30 percent of civilian fire deaths in 2015 were electrical fires.

There was no working fire alarm present at more than 60 percent of the 2016 fire deaths, Commissioner Nigro said. Smoke alarms are critical in keeping the number of fire deaths low.

Fire deaths in 2016 included a 1-year-old boy and his grandmother; they died in a December Brownsville fire.

One firefighter – Chief Michael Fahy – died in the line of duty in 2016. Fahy died battling an explosion at a Bronx grow house in September.