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Structure fires in Roanoke City were at an all time low in 2013

Published On: Feb 03 2014 04:30:42 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 03 2014 06:01:43 PM EST
Roanoke City Fire and Rescue has successful 2013

Responded to 22% fewer structure fires in 2013


Numbers show 2013 was one of the best years Roanoke Fire and EMS ever had.

Fire Chief David Hoback and says Roanoke Fire and EMS responded to 55 structure fires last year.

Structure fires were down 22% from 71 to 55.

In terms of property damage, a 30% drop to $2.5million. The number of arsons was cut in half to 21.

On top of all this, the fire department has maintained one of the highest levels of accreditation.

One of the reasons why is the response time; the first truck responds to a fire within four minutes on 92% of the calls.

Chief Hoback says 250 structure fires used to be the norm, the dramatic reduction to 55 is in large parts to people listening to their advice.

"We're very fortunate that the citizens of Roanoke are heeding what we're preaching everyday about making Roanoke a fire safe community," Hoback said.

The biggest issue with the Fire Department this time last year was a lack of qualified candidates to become new firefighters.

Hoback says, along with Roanoke County and Salem, that's been corrected too, they saw a 150% increase in eligible candidates.

Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill says the success of the Fire and EMS department actually lowers insurance premiums.