More lives claimed by fires in 2018 than in previous years

Fire being fought at a building on Tartu's Lina Street.
Fire being fought at a building on Tartu's Lina Street. Source: Estonian Rescue Board

As of mid-December, more lives have already been claimed by fires in Estonia in 2018 than in all of 2017 or 2016. Last month, a total of seven people were killed in fires, three of which perished in the same fire.

"This year, 43 people have already been killed in fires already, which is more than during the past two years, and over half of the month of December still lays ahead," said Deputy Director-General of the Estonian Rescue Board Tauno Suurkivi.

In comparison, 38 people were killed in fires in 2017, and 39 in 2016.

Three fires this year were caused by a lit cigarette catching a bed on fire, while one was caused by a candle, and another by the malfunctioning of an electric stove. Every lethal fire this year began in a block of flats.

The average age of fire victims in November was 64; the oldest victim was 96 years old, and the youngest 49. According to initial information, two victims were drunk at the time of the fire.

A total of 88 building fires were registered in Estonia in November, including 52 residences and 36 non-residence buildings. The Rescue Board and volunteer rescuers also provided consultations in 2,754 homes.

Between January and the end of November, a total of 74 people have been rescued from Fires; another 102 have been injured.

Water accident danger a threat as ice begins to form

A total of five people were killed in water accidents last month, bringing the total for 2018 thus far to 43. Among these victims were two children.

Recent below-freezing temperatures have caused internal waters in some areas to ice over. This layer of ice is still too thin to be safe, however, and is unable to bear significant weight; ice is significantly safer to walk on when it is at least 10cm thick.

Should an adult fall through the ice, an adult will lose consciousness in water that is just a few degrees above freezing in ten minutes or less; children would lose consciousness even sooner.

Following a long and hot summer, children in particular may be enticed by the first ice of the season, due to which the Rescue Board is asking all parents to talk to their children about the risks of thin ice as well as keep an eye on their kids.

In case of an emergency, they added, call 112.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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