Large-Loss Fires’ 2007 Toll: 19 Deaths, $3.5 Billion in Losses

Large-loss fires, a category of the National Fire Protection Association for fires that cause at least $5 million in property damage, increased in 2007 and caused a total of $3.5 billion in direct property loss – 24 percent of the year’s $14.6 billion in total U.S. fire losses, even though only 1 percent of the nation’s fires were large-loss fires.

The 71 large-loss fires in 2007 killed 19 civilians and injured 168 firefighters and 67 civilians, according to details of an upcoming report that NFPA is publishing in the November/December issue of the NFPA Journal. There were 46 large-loss fires in 2006.

Most of the $500 million increase in large-loss fire property damage in 2007 from 2006 resulted from the Southern California Firestorm, which was one of five fires that year to cause more than $100 million in property loss.

The same November/December issue includes reports on combustible dust hazards, integrated building systems, and firefighters’ injuries in 2007.

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