Recent government data has revealed that fatalities in fire-related incidents in England have reached their highest number in 20 years.
According to the data, published by the Home Office, 303 people died in fires in 2015-16, a 15% increase (39 people) on the previous 12 months. In the same period, fire services across England attended around 162,000 fires, which is an increase of 7,000 on the previous year.
The Home Office attributes the rise in the number of deaths to an increase in the number of accidental fires taking place in homes, as well as an increase in the number of fatal fires involving aircraft.
Fire services in Cambridgeshire and Cumbria had the highest fatality rates, with 25 deaths occurring for every 1,000 primary fires (the average for England as a whole was seven deaths per 1,000 fires).