Tonight NFPA mourns the loss of four firefighters in Texas. According to news stories four Houston firefighters died and six others were injured fighting a five alarm fire at the Southwest Inn this afternoon. Reports say that more than 100 firefighters were on the scene of the blaze which began in the kitchen of the hotel and restaurant.
NFPA's most recent firefighter fatality report showed that In 2011, a total of 61 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the U.S. This is another sharp drop from the 73 on-duty deaths in 2010 and 82 in 2009, and the lowest annual total since NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977. The largest share of deaths occurred while firefighters were operating on the fire ground (30 deaths).
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,700
structure fires per year at hotel or motel properties between 2006 and
2010. These fires caused average annual losses of 12 civilian deaths,
143 civilian injuries, and $127 million in direct property damage each
year. Nearly half (45%) of these fires involved cooking equipment, 10%
were caused by smoking materials, 9% were caused by heating equipment,
and clothes dryers or washers were also involved in 9% of these fires.