Facts + Statistics: Fire

Fire losses

Fire Losses, 2013-2022 (1)

 

Year Property loss ($ millions) Loss per capita (2)
2013 $19,054 60.29
2014 21,801 68.47
2015 19,759 61.60
2016 23,789 73.63
2017 36,510 112.30
2018 46,972 143.72
2019 31,614 96.29
2020 38,537 116.25
2021 44,228 133.20
2022 48,355 145.08

(1) Including allowances for FAIR Plan and uninsured losses.
(2) Calculated by the Insurance Information Institute using ISO property loss and population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.

Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business; U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.

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Structure fires

Structure Fires, 2013-2022 (1)

 

    Direct property damage (2) ($ billions)   Direct property damage (2) ($ billions)
Year Number of fires As reported In 2023 dollars (3) Year Number of fires As reported In 2023 dollars (3)
2013 487,500 $9.5 $12.4 2018 499,000 $11.1 $13.5
2014 494,000 9.8 12.6 2019 481,500 12.3 14.7
2015 501,500 10.3 13.2 2020 490,500 12.1 14.3
2016 475,500 7.8 9.9 2021 486,500 12.7 14.2
2017 499,000 10.7 13.4 2022 522,500 15.0 15.5

(1) Estimates based on data reported by fire departments responding to the 2022 National Fire Experience Survey. May exclude reports from some fire departments.
(2) Does not include damage from major wildfires.
(3) Calculated from unrounded numbers by the Insurance Information Institute using the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.

Source: Reproduced with permission from Fire Loss in the United States During 2022 by Shelby Hall and Ben Evarts, ©2023 National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org.

 

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Reported Fires By Property Use, 2022 (1)

 

Property use Fires  Property loss (2) ($ millions)
Structures 522,500 $15,024 
   Residential  382,500 10,955 
      Home  360,000 10,537 
         One- and two-family homes (3) 280,000 8,626 
         Apartments and other multi-family 80,000 1,911 
         Other residential structures (4) 22,500 418
   Non-residential (5) 140,000 4,068
Vehicle fire  222,000 2,649
   Highway vehicle fire  188,500 1,995
   Other vehicle fire  33,500 655
Outside and other fire   760,000 399
   Fire outside but no vehicle (6) 95,000 250
   Fires in brush, grass, or wildlands (7) 338,500 0
   Outside rubbish fire  235,000 0
   All other fire  91,500 149
Total  1,504,500 $18,072

(1) Estimates based on data reported by fire departments responding to the 2022 National Fire Experience Survey. May exclude reports from some fire departments.
(2) Includes overall direct property loss to contents, structures, vehicles, machinery, vegetation or any other property involved in a fire. Excludes indirect losses, such as business interruption or temporary shelter costs.
(3) Includes manufactured homes.
(4) Includes hotels and motels, dormitories, rooming houses, residential board and care properties, and other residential properties.
(5) Public assembly, educational, institutional, retail, office, manufacturing, and industrial or utility properties.
(6) Outside storage, crops, timber, etc.
(7) Excludes crops and timber, with no value or loss involved.

Source: Reproduced with permission from Fire Loss in the United States During 2022 by Shelby Hall and Ben Evarts, ©2023 National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org.

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Top 10 Costliest Large-Loss Fires, 2021 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State Month Type of facility Estimated loss
1 Colorado December Wildland/urban interface, Marshall Fire $678.0 
2 Illinois June Chemical manufacturing 160.0 
3 California November Textile manufacturing 128.0 
4 Wisconsin February Ship in for repairs 100.0 
5 Tennessee July Cereal manufacturing 98.6 
6 Nevada January Apartments under construction 35.0 
7 Tennessee March Rubber manufacturing 35.0 
8 Colorado October Apartment building (81 units) 30.2 
9 Texas February Warehouse with foam products 26.0 
10 California January Restaurant 25.2 

(1) Large-loss fires of $20 million or more in 2021.

Note: Loss data shown here may differ from figures shown elsewhere for the same event due to differences in the date of publication, the geographical area covered and other criteria used by organizations collecting the data.

Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires and Explosions in the United States in 2021 by Stephen G. Badger, ©2023 National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org.

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Top 10 Costliest Large-Loss Fires In U.S. History

($ millions)

      Estimated loss (1)
Rank Date Location/event Dollars when occurred In 2020 dollars (2)
1 Sep. 11, 2001 World Trade Center (terrorist attacks) $33,400 $48,900 (3)
2 Oct. 8, 2017 Northern CA Wildland Urban Interface fire 10,000 10,600
3 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 350 10,100
4 Nov. 8, 2018 Camp Wildland Urban Interface fire 8,500 8,700
5 Aug, 2021 "Siege" wildfire, Northern California (4) 4,200 4,200
6 Oct. 8-9, 1871 Great Chicago Fire 168 3,600
7 July, 2021 Navy ship under repair, San Diego, California 3,000 3,000
8 Nov. 8, 2018 Woolsey Wildland Urban Interface fire 2,900 3,000
9 Oct. 20, 1991 Oakland, CA, firestorm, Wildland Urban Interface fire 1,500 2,900
10 Oct. 20, 2007 San Diego County, CA, The Southern California Firestorm 1,800 2,200

(1) Loss estimates are from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) records. The list is limited to fires for which some reliable dollar loss estimates exists.
(2) Adjustment to 2020 dollars made by the National Fire Protection Association using the Consumer Price Index.
(3) Differs from inflation-adjusted estimates made by other organizations due to the use of different collection criteria and deflators.
(4) Includes multiple fires.

Source: ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.

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Top Catastrophic Multiple-Death Fires and Explosions, 2021 (1)

 

Rank (2) Month State Type of facility Deaths
1 March Oklahoma Single-family home 6
1 April Virginia Single-family home 6
1 December Georgia Single-family home 6
2 January Georgia Single-family home 5
2 January Illinois 4-unit apartment building 5
2 March Arkansas 2-story apartment building 5
2 August Illinois 2-story apartment building 5
2 September Ohio Single-family home 5
2 September California Single-family home 5
2 November New York 3-unit apartment building 5
3 November Texas Barn/workshop 3
3 December Maine Vacant single-family home 3
3 May Illinois Campsite 3
3 July Michigan Boat 3

(1) Fires or explosions that kill five or more people in residential property, or three or more people in nonhome or nonstructural property.
(2) Fires with the same number of deaths receive the same rank.

Source: National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org.

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Top 10 Most Catastrophic Multiple-Death Fires In U.S. History (1)

 

Rank Date Location/event Deaths
1 Sep. 11, 2001 New York, NY, World Trade Center terrorist attack 2,666 (2)
2 Apr. 27, 1865 Mississippi River, SS Sultana steamship 1,547
3 Oct. 8, 1871 Peshtigo, WI, forest fire 1,152
4 Jun. 15, 1904 New York, NY, General Slocum steamship 1,030
5 Dec. 30, 1903 Chicago, IL, Iroquois Theater 602
6 Oct. 12, 1918 Cloquet, MN, forest fire 559
7 Nov. 28, 1942 Boston, MA, Cocoanut Grove night club 492
8 Apr. 16, 1947 Texas City, TX, SS Grandcamp and Monsanto Chemical Co. plant 468
9 Sep. 1, 1894 Hinckley, MN, forest fire 418
10 Dec. 6, 1907 Monongha, WV, coal mine explosion 361

(1) Fires that kill five or more people in home property, or three or more people in nonhome or nonstructural property.
(2) Revised to 2,976 by government officials. 

Source: Reproduced with permission, © 2020, National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org.

Large loss fires

TOP 20 DEADLIEST LARGE-LOSS FIRES IN THE UNITED STATES (1)

Rank Date Event Location Fatalities
1 Sep. 11, 2001 The World Trade Center New York, NY 2,666
2 Dec. 30, 1903 Iroquois Theatre Chicago, IL 602
3 Nov. 28, 1942 Cocoanut Grove night club Boston, MA 492
4 Apr. 21, 1930 Ohio State Penitentiary Columbus, OH 320
5 Mar. 18, 1937 Consolidated School gas explosion New London, TX 294
6 Dec. 5, 1876 Conway's Theatre Brooklyn, NY 285
7 Apr. 23, 1940 Rhythm Club Natchez, MS 207
8 Mar. 4, 1908 Lakeview Grammar School Collinwood, OH 175
9 Jan. 12, 1908 Rhodes Opera House Boyertown, PA 170
10 Jul. 6, 1944 Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Hartford, CT 168
10 Apr. 19, 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Oklahoma City, OK 168
12 May 28, 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club Southgate, KY 165
13 Mar. 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Company New York, NY 146
14 Apr. 10, 1917 Eddystone Ammunition Company plant explosion Eddystone, PA 133
15 May 15, 1929 Cleveland Clinic Hospital Cleveland, OH 125
16 Dec. 7, 1946 Winecoff Hotel Atlanta, GA 119
17 Feb. 20, 2003 The Station Nightclub W. Warwick, RI 100
18 Dec. 1, 1958 Our Lady of the Angels School Chicago, IL 95
19 Mar. 25, 1990 Happy Land Social Club New York, NY 87
20 Nov. 21, 1980 MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas, NV 85

(1) Based on deadliest single-builiding or complex fires and explosions.

Source: National Fire Protection Association.

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