Fire deaths in London are halved over five years

London Fire Brigade and engine Image copyright PA
Image caption Thirty people in London lost their lives in fires last year

The number of people killed in fires in London has halved over the last five years.

Last year's figure was the lowest this millennium, London Fire Brigade (LFB) said.

The number of recorded fires has fallen to its lowest level in any one year since records began in 1966.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the figures could not be used as a justification for further cuts to services.

LFB said the reduction was mainly due to an increase in fire prevention work by officers.

'Slashing jobs'

Last year there were fewer than 20,000 fires and 30 people died, compared with 59 in 2010/11.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Every fire death is a tragedy and we will never become complacent as so many could have been avoided and we will continue to target those most at risk to further reduce the impacts of fire in the capital."

LFB said the figures were the first to be released since the closure of 10 fire stations and the removal of 14 fire engines in January 2014.

Paul Embery, FBU regional secretary, said: "Fire cover should not follow the laws of supply and demand; it must instead be based on risk.

"Thousands of fires still break out in London every year, and it is crucial that there are sufficient resources to get to the scene quickly to save lives and protect property.

"Closing stations and slashing firefighter jobs makes it harder for us to do that."

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