Fire deaths in W. Michigan up 48% this year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Recent statistics show the number of fire-related deaths are on the rise in Michigan.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, from Jan. 1 to June 2, 2015 the number of fire deaths were up 25-percent from 2014. A total of 61 people died in fires across the state. Twenty-three of those deaths were in West Michigan which is a 48-percent increase over this same time last year.

Operation Save A Life is working to save lives by providing free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to fire departments in West Michigan where they will be installed in high risk homes by trained firefighters.

“We’re finding the majority of fire fatalities are occurring in homes that don’t have working smoke alarms,” said Michael McLeieer, program coordinator for Operation Save A Life.” We want to make sure that families have working smoke alarms.”

“Electrical fires seem to be one of the major issues behind this. Unsafe use of extension cords, things of that nature. Be attentive to anything you’re doing with the stove,” said Fire Marshall Ted Karnitz of the Norton Shores Fire Department.

Nearly 3,000 smoke alarms have been installed throughout Muskegon County since Jan. 1.

There will also be a big push for fire safety education at all five Maranda Park Parties this summer.

For a complete list of West Michigan smoke alarm installation programs, click here. If your community is not listed or you have questions about smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or home fire safety, send an email to

WOOD TV8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s