Fire accidents kill over 137 in Addis, decrease slightly during first half year


Between last July and this January, 137 people were killed in fires, floods or bridge slides and over 40 million birr in property was damaged. There were 188 total incidents and 80 percent of them were fires.
There has been a slight decrease in the number of fires most of which are caused by candles, electric wires, stoves and cylinders and burned 42 homes causing six million birr in damages. Bole, Kolfe, Akaki sub cities have the most fires at 24, 18 and 13 respectively. Akaki sub city suffered a 22 million birr loss in damages from fire. Addis Ketema sub city saw 9 accidents over the first half of the fiscal year causing 32 million birr of damage to six manufacturing companies and seven trucks.
A recent study showed that 20 places in the metro region are susceptible to flooding and relocation of homes was recommended.
Many fires are caused by electrical wiring. Older homes are particularly susceptible, as they were not wired for years. Many homes that were built in the 50′s and 70′s have aluminum wiring that gets very hot and increases the chance of fire. Heating is another major cause of residential fire accidents. This is especially true for people in the outskirts of Addis Ababa who use wood for cooking.
With the eight branches, the Agency reaches 10 Districts that cover 116 woredas. Of the 463 accidents recorded in Addis Ababa last year, the majority, 368, were caused by fire. The Agency said that an additional 125 hydrants will be installed during the 2017/18 fiscal year. Currently, there are four hydrants per 10 square meters in the city.
The eighty-year-old Agency is limited to eight stations, which were previously the only spots where water could be refilled by fire fighters.
There are currently 1,200 staff, 33 ambulances, three sky lift ladders and eight water trucks. The trucks have a capacity to hold 7,000 liters of water.