BOSTON — For the second year in a row, Boston had the lowest number of fire deaths of any large city in the country, according to the Boston Fire Department.
In 2012, only one person died, in a January apartment building fire in Dorchester, the department said.
In comparison, Baltimore had 12 fire deaths in 2012, while Washington, D.C., had seven.
BFD spokesman Steve MacDonald said the low can be credited to strong staffing.
“We have 33 neighborhood firehouses throughout the city, the first engine and ladder will get to an incident within four minutes of receiving a call,” MacDonald said. “The number is quite low compared to other cities of our size.
“Firefighters are the ones that respond initially to keep small fires from becoming big fires, so having a fully staffed fire department is really the first factor into so few fire deaths.”
He said public awareness of ways to prevent fire is another reason the number is so low.
From 2009-2012, there were four fire deaths in Boston, the department said.