Fire Deaths and Bomb Calls Up in Springfield in 2016
Fire deaths in Springfield rose in 2016 despite a reduction in residential fires overall. The Springfield Fire Department’s year-end report shows firefighters responded to 220 residential fires last year, down six percent over 2015 and 14 percent since 2012. But, with five deaths in 2016, fire-related fatalities were up 25 percent over 2015 and 57 percent over 2012.
Springfield Fire Chief David Hall says the fire department will continue to find new ways to reduce fire deaths, including evaluating response rates and coverage areas and implementing new fire safety programs. He’s expected to share some of those proposals with City Council January 10.
There was some positive news in the report: the number of careless smoking fires continues to decrease—down 15 percent from 2015. And fire injuries saw a 57 percent decrease from 2012.
Cooking fires were the most common last year—accounting for 33 percent of all fires, and sixteen percent of fires were intentionally set.
The year-end report also found that bomb calls were up 30% in 2016 over the previous year. Fire marshals responded to 109 bomb calls. Of those, 52% of them were “unfounded,” meaning there was no threat associated with the incident. A majority of the founded threats were out of Springfield’s jurisdiction.