15 June 2006

Stat du Jour: 2005/2006 NOFD Fires, Staff, and Firehouses Comparison

Source: NOFD/15 June 2006 Times-Picayune (print copy only)

NOFD Reported Fires*:
First Half 2005: 1,457
First Half 2006: 1,054

NOFD Firefighters/Staff:
2005: 741
2006: 689

NOFD Operating Firehouses:
2005: 31
2006: 16

So although it seems like there have been an incredible amount of fires in the first five months of 2006, the numbers surprisingly indicate fewer fires than last year . . . Are the fires just getting more local press than before because of the "what could possibly happen next" post-KTMB atmosphere within New Orleans????

*-"First Half" in above matrix refers to 1 January 2005/2006 thru 1 June 2005/2006.

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, NOFD, Fires, Louisiana


At June 15, 2006 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I have wondered about that.

I wonder if the number of fires is increasing? Were there more fires in May realtive to the previous year?

I wonder if fires are more severe, a fire in a vacant building will have a better chance of growing undetected than one in an occupied building.

By The Way January 1 to June 1 is only 5 months, not quite half a year.

At June 15, 2006 3:08 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Fewer total fires, yes.

But per capita? Per household? Easily there are more fires than before. Many of these I think are intentionally set. I think there is a lot of "underground" crime in the decimated parts of the city right now. I have heard from neighbors about burglary of items from their flooded homes. I have heard about houses that were locked and secure and broken into because no one is around to stop it. I have heard from one neighbor that they found used needles and other evidence of drug use in their vacant house.

How many of these cirmes get reported? How many get solved?

You can't blame the city or the police for this situation. It's a simple fact of life that as long as we have vast uninhabited neighborhoods, there will be vagrants, miscreants, and criminals of all sorts enjoying these "playgrounds."



At June 15, 2006 3:16 PM, Blogger Seymour D. Fair said...


You are absolutely correct. The per capita angle to this based on 250k-300k less people in the city is alarming regardless if there are technically less incidents.

From a NOFDer last week:
1. Electrical fires (not properly repaired flooded electrical systems).
2. "Vagrants."
3. Insurance fraud.

At June 15, 2006 3:53 PM, Blogger Ray said...

But is "per capita" the right way to measure fires, or "per structure", or some other measure?

For instance, you don't measure traffic fatalities per capita. Per person-mile or per auto-mile are more telling.

If the population went to 0, then 1 fire a year would put the per capita rate at infinity.

Actually, like anonymous said, I'd be curious to see how the severities this year compare to last year. Say, how many fires are 3-alarm and above? The exacerbating issue is that nobody notices a fire in a deserted neighborhood until it's well advanced.

At June 15, 2006 7:01 PM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

It would be somewhere between per capita and per structure. There are not many innocent reasons for a fire in an abandoned building. Take away accidental (or intentional) fires set by vagrants, insurance arson, and power surges or other problems caused by the city's power grid (I've heard that, I have no idea how likely it is) and there should be far fewer fires in abandoned buildings. Of course, we should also expect more fires caused by repair and construction activity. Remember what caused the Cabildo fire.

At June 15, 2006 7:30 PM, Blogger Seymour D. Fair said...

I think workers/renovation work was credited as the cause of the Coliseum Theater fire similar to what bstjd points out with The Cabildo back in 1988.

At June 15, 2006 9:25 PM, Blogger John Blutarsky said...

Man, it's not even press. It's just that I've personally witnessed fires or seen so many houses that have already been burned down. I don't remember seeing but maybe 1 burned house in all of 2005 (pre K)

As Tim said, compare that stat to the population of Pre-K and Post-K.

Also, these fires are definitely more severe. They are burning to the ground!

I personally witnessed the fire the other evening on Dehemcourt(sp?) and I saw the flames 25-50 feet above the roof BEFORE the fire truck from the Carrolton station actually got there. There was no saving anything from that house.

At June 16, 2006 5:09 PM, Blogger TravelingMermaid said...

Yeah, my first thought was, how many fires per number of buildings....there are easily many less standing buildings now.
My rant is still,besides the actual fires, what about the men? That damn contract is STILL on Nagin's desk. The men STILL are buying their own supplies, they STILL are living in hospitals, trailers, etc. And there is other injustice being done to some who worked their butts off during and after Katrina, in the form of NO MEDICAL COVERAGE when it's needed! (Just for the tip of the iceberg) Don't even get me started.


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