The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has described as ‘horrifying’ new figures on fires and fire deaths.
Fire incidents have increased in England by 9% for the year ending September 2017, having already increased the previous year (2015-2016), amounting to over 170,500 fires.
The number of fire-related deaths increased from 253 to 346, including 71 from the Grenfell Tower tragedy. There were almost 3,300 non-fatal casualties requiring hospital treatment, up by 138 on the previous 12 months, official figures showed.
‘These worrying increases have occurred against a backdrop of severe cuts to the fire and rescue service’, says the FBU.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “It isn’t complicated – the fire and rescue service is cut to the bone, and the result is more people dying in fires because crews can no longer respond promptly and in sufficient numbers to tackle fires professionally, quickly and effectively”.
“How many more people are going to have to die”?