Traffic and fire deaths on the rise

It’s turning out to be a particularly grim winter for fire and traffic deaths in the GTA.



From Nov. 22, when the first big winter storm hit, to last weekend, we’ve had 47 traffic-related deaths — more than twice the number for the same period last winter, when 28 died.



Fires, too, have claimed an increased number of deaths this winter over last, with nine fire-related deaths since last fall, compared with three for the winter of 2006-07.

And that’s without counting the grim toll from Saturday morning’s devastating house fire in Hamilton, which claimed the lives of a mother, her three young children and a 19-year-old man living at the house.

The only common link is an unusually cold, snowy and icy winter.

Not only has it wreaked havoc on the roads, but it’s also forced people to spend more time indoors at home, where the top five fire risks, according to Toronto Fire Service Capt. Mike Strapko, include cooking, smoking, arson, electrical faults and candles.

comparison from last year

  • Among the dead so far this winter are 12 pedestrians, seven in Toronto and five elsewhere in the GTA. For the same Nov.-Feb. period in the winter of 2006-07, the region recorded 28 deaths, including five pedestrians.