Memphis Could Set Fire-Related Record

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Memphis) The Memphis Fire Department is hoping to break a record this year, by having the least amount of fire-related deaths ever.

So far four people have died in fires this year.

That’s including a tragedy Saturday where a five-year-old girl died in a house fire.

While that family is recovering, the overall numbers of fire deaths are actually lower than in years past.

Fire-related deaths are down not just in Memphis, but nationwide.

According to statistics, 95% of households now have smoke detectors.

That’s compared to only 5% in the 1970s.

“We have spent an enormous amount of time in fire prevention,” said Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department.

Lt. Cooke says this year, fire fighters have already handed out and installed more than 2,200 smoke detectors in homes and businesses around are city and those efforts might be helping to possibly set a record.

So far, in 2013, Memphis has seen 4 fire-related deaths.

Last year, there were 16.

Fewer than 9 would set the record and mean the least amount of fire-related deaths since Memphis started keeping records in the 1960s.

We still have the winter months to conquer and that's often when fire numbers spike as heating units get turned on.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire Saturday morning that ripped through a home on Riley Alley killing a five-year-old girl.

Lt. Cooke says the home did not have a working fire detector and the windows had bars on them making it difficult for anyone to escape.

“Our children and our elderly are the most vulnerable,” said Cooke. “So you want to make sure they know how to get out of the structure in the event of a fire.”