Latest edition of NFPA Journal highlights new data on catastrophic multiple-death fires

Blog Post created by freddurso Employee on Sep 11, 2012
Two adults and four children died in a home fire in Ohio, which was attributed to a charcoal grill left unattended on a wooden porch at the rear of the home. (Photo: AP/Wide World)
Of the nearly 1.4 million fires that U.S. firefighters responded to in 2011, 23 of them were classified as catastrophic multiple-death fires, which are defined as a fire responsible for five or more deaths in homes or apartments, or three or more deaths in all other structures.


The latest edition of NFPA Journal highlights this statistic, taken from NFPA's new report Catastrophic Multiple-Death Fires. Nearly 115 deaths--16 of which were children under the age of six--were associated with these fires. The report also indicates that an unusually high proportion of these fires were caused by explosions.

"Three of the explosions involved storage  properties: a grain elevator, a fireworks storage bunker, and a pipeline  near an oil storage tank at an oil well," states the report. "Two others originated in  single-family homes, and one occurred at a steel powder manufacturing  plant. In the 10 years leading up to 2011, 34 explosions  were reported in the catastrophic multiple-death study, resulting in 194  deaths. Most notable of those were the West Virginia mine explosion of  2010 that killed 29, the Texas refinery explosion of 2005 that killed  15, and the Georgia sugar refinery explosion of 2008 that killed 14."

For more information on these fires and the role of smoke detection and suppression equipment, check out the September/October edition of NFPA Journal.