The Anchorage Fire Department calls it an alarming trend.
According to Fire Marshal Brian Dean, across the country, the number of fires is going down but the rate of fire fatalities is increasing. That also seems to be the case in Anchorage where the fire department reports five fire fatalities since the start of 2023. This is already more than the number of fatalities in all of 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. There were just two fatalities in Anchorage in all of 2020, three in 2021 and four in 2022.
“It’s trending in the wrong direction to have this many fatalities this early in the year,” said Dean. “Our community can do better.”
Dean said fires in 2023 had different causes, including blocked dryer vents and heating devices placed too close to combustibles, but he added that the majority of fatal fires did have something in common.