More rescued and fewer dead in fires last year in Latvia

Last year, 68 people died in fires in Latvia, the lowest number in recent years. 257 people were injured in the fires, as many as a year prior, but the number rescued has increased, according to statistics compiled by the Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) on February 27.

In 2023, the total number of calls fell from a year earlier, but the number of misleading calls rose slightly.

In total, firefighters went to 20,233 calls in 2023, of which 6,401 were to fires, 401 to wildfires, 9,735 to rescues, while 3,696 were misleading.

Last year, the number of fires recorded was 223 lower than in 2022.

Of the regions, the highest number of fires (excluding forest fires) was recorded in Riga and Riga region (2,962), Latgale (1,006), Zemgale (1,000), Kurzeme (724) and Vidzeme (709). 1,978 fires have been extinguished in Riga City.

In 2023, 68 people died in the fires, down six from a year earlier. Of the fatalities, two were minors. 257 people were injured in the fires last year, the same as the year before. 384 people have been rescued in the fires, slightly more than a year earlier.

“On the one hand, we can take a positive view last year as the number of deaths from fires continues to decline for the second year. But at the same time, as we assess the information we receive at the scene and what we see, it becomes clear that many of these tragic fires could have been prevented if only people had handled fire more carefully, taken care of installing a smoke detector in their home, brought heating appliances in order, had not used faulty electrical appliances, etc. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol is still a factor often present in tragic fires,” the VUGD chief Mārtiņš Baltmanis said.

Firefighters removed 116 fatalities from bodies of water, the second-highest death toll after 2020, when 122 people drowned.

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