BALTIMORE — As 2020 concluded, the Baltimore City Fire Department declared it was the year that history was made – marking the lowest number of fire fatalities in the history of the department, according to Fire Chief Niles R. Ford.
Reaching a historic low, the department confirmed that there were seven fire fatalities in 2020.
“I want to thank Chief Ford and the Baltimore City Fire Department for their hard work and unwavering dedication to the residents of Baltimore,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Every life saved is monumental for us all and a testament to the efforts of our first responders who continue to make a huge impact in this city.”
Within the past decade, fire fatalities soared into the double-digits; with causes ranging from smoke inhalation, lack of working smoke alarms and portable heaters. However, this milestone has been attributed to all BCFD Firefighters, EMTs, Paramedics, 9-1-1 Specialists, Fire Instructors, Safety Officers and other ranking Fire Officers and members, for their allegiance to “Pride Protecting People.”
“While my overarching goal is to have zero fire fatalities, this is a great step in the right direction,” said Fire Chief Niles R. Ford. “This was a significant decrease that is unmatched and my hope is that we will continue this downward trend.”
In the more than 200-year history of the Baltimore City Fire Department, the highest fire fatality was in 1984, when an alarming 88 people died from fires. However, within the past decade, the lowest fire fatalities were in 2012 and 2018, tying at 12 fire related deaths.
The department is ambitious about continuing the downward trend and will “remain proactive in protecting the residents of Baltimore City,” said Chief Ford.
Fire officials encourage residents to have a safety sweep completed and working smoke alarms installed by calling 3-1-1.
So far this year, no fire fatalities have been reported.