Worcester Housing Success Story

 A thorough analysis of fire incident data in the small community of Worcester, Massachusetts revealed a concerning increase in the rate of unattended cooking fires. In 2014, 559 unattended cooking fires were reported throughout the city. The following year, 578 unattended cooking fires were reported, an increase of 3.3 percent. Of particular interest was the fact that in 2015, 138 of all the unattended cooking fires came from 4 high-rise buildings. In other words, nearly a quarter of the city’s cooking fires were coming from four buildings. Costs in property damage exceeded $500,000. Those buildings, and the associated repair costs, belonged to the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA). Additionally, the resident profile for these buildings revealed that they were all occupied by older adults among whom 86% suffered from physical and/or mental disabilities. In short, these residents were at high risk for fire injury or death. 

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