House Fires

Twelve-year-old boy dies in Detroit area fire

By Jerry White, 22 November 2017

While the fire is still under investigation, authorities are looking at a space heater as the cause of the fatal blaze.

Fire in Chinese workers’ dormitory kills 22

By Robert Campion, 7 August 2017

Houses and dormitories provided by employers are typically fire traps with cramped conditions and lacking fire exits or fire extinguishers.

One month since the UK Grenfell Fire:

Three die in Honolulu high-rise without sprinkler system

By Andre Damon, 17 July 2017

The disaster in Honolulu makes clear that the London fire was no aberration. All over the world, the lives of working people are treated as expendable in the pursuit of wealth and profits by the financial elite.

Latest fatal house fire kills one adult and two small children in Detroit

By Tim Rivers, 29 June 2017

An apparent electrical fire took the lives of an adult and two small children in a working-class neighborhood of Detroit Tuesday.

On-the-spot report from London:

Residents in Camden speak about Grenfell fire and their evacuation due to fire risk

By our reporters, 27 June 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to residents evacuated from tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate in London by Labour Party-run Camden council over the weekend.

Flammable cladding rife in Australian construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 27 June 2017

The dangers of aluminium composite panels were known to building authorities and relevant government ministers long before the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The political implications of the Grenfell Tower fire

By Chris Marsden, 27 June 2017

The staggering loss of life epitomises the devastation capitalism has wrought on generations of working people. It is the outcome of a vast and ongoing transfer of society’s wealth from the poor to the rich.

Hundreds of thousands in UK face same fire risk as Grenfell Tower victims

By Robert Stevens, 26 June 2017

Of the UK’s 4,000 tower blocks, 600 have been selected for testing, due to the use of unsafe building materials.

UK: Camden residents speak of ill treatment during tower block evacuation

By our reporters, 26 June 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to some of the thousands of Camden residents, who were evacuated because their tower blocks are unsafe.

Boris Johnson and the Grenfell Tower inferno

By Julie Hyland, 24 June 2017

As London mayor, Johnson forced through massive cuts in the London Fire Brigade budget despite repeated warnings that they would cost lives.

UK’s Daily Mail tries to scapegoat resident for Grenfell Tower inferno

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 21 June 2017

Angry denunciations of the tabloid flooded in after it tried to pin the blame for the horrific fire that cost the lives of at least 79 people on an Ethiopian taxi driver.

UK: May forced to call public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2017

With many people still to be accounted for from a building that was home to between 500 and 600 people, London’s Metropolitan Police announced that the death toll from Wednesday’s fire had reached 17.

London’s Grenfell Tower inferno: A crime against the working class

By Laura Tiernan, 15 June 2017

The catastrophic fire broke out shortly after midnight Wednesday, on the second floor of 24-storey council flats in Kensington, West London that were home to an estimated 500 people.

Grenfell Tower residents warn: “People have had enough”

By our reporters, 15 June 2017

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to residents about the fire that gutted Grenfell Tower Wednesday morning.

Flint, Michigan home fire kills father and two children

By Carlos Delgado, 14 June 2017

A father in his 50s and two teenage children are the latest victims of fatal house fires in the economically ravaged city.

With over 630 killed in house fires so far this year

Trump budget proposes to end heating assistance, slash housing program

By Steve Filips, 22 March 2017

As federal housing aid comes under the axe, poor and working Americans continue to contend with stagnant wages, climbing utility bills and substandard housing.

US house fire deaths totaled 2,290 in 2016

By Steve Filips, 21 January 2017

The terrible increase in the number of house fire deaths indicates the poor housing conditions faced by the working class.

Six children dead in Baltimore house fire

By Shelley Connor, 13 January 2017

Firefighters arrived at the scene quickly, but the three-storey, 107-year-old home was already completely engulfed in flames.

Bay Area workers speak on Oakland Ghost Ship fire

By our reporters, 13 December 2016

WSWS reporters spoke with workers who came to see the site of the fire that killed 36.

Developers are “deliberately making properties uninhabitable”

Tenant rights attorney discusses housing crisis behind Oakland “Ghost Ship” tragedy

By David Brown, 12 December 2016

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with Laura Lane, the Housing Practice Director for the East Bay Community Law Center on conditions facing tenants in Oakland.

The Oakland fire tragedy and the housing crisis in America

By Kate Randall, 7 December 2016

At the root of the tragedy lies the dysfunctional character of American capitalism, including a housing crisis born of poverty, social inequality and years of neglect by government authorities.

Housing crisis and neglect at root of fatal Oakland fire, one of the deadliest in US history

By David Brown, 6 December 2016

With at least 36 confirmed dead, the Ghost Ship fire is the deadliest in over a decade—the product of city negligence and skyrocketing rent prices driving an informal housing market.

Death toll at least 33 in Oakland warehouse fire

By David Brown, 5 December 2016

The currently confirmed death toll makes this the worst building fire in the United States since 2003, when 100 people died in a night club fire in Rhode Island.

Wildfire continues to ravage Gatlinburg, Tennessee

By Naomi Spencer, 1 December 2016

At least four people have died, nearly four dozen have been injured, and many more remain unaccounted for in the fire surrounding Gatlinburg, a resort town in eastern Tennessee.

At least five dead as extreme drought, wildfires ravage southeastern US

By Zaida Green, 30 November 2016

One of the most devastated communities is the tourist town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where at least three people have been killed and 14,000 forced to flee their homes.

UK: Two homeless people die in fire in derelict Manchester building

By Margot Miller and Dennis Moore, 30 November 2016

Labour councils have been in the forefront of demonizing the homeless.

Hundreds killed in US home fires

By Steve Filips, 23 November 2016

So far this fall, 25 people have died in home fires in Texas, 25 Georgia and 21 in Pennsylvania.

Gas explosion at Maryland apartment complex kills two, injures dozens

By Brad Dixon, 13 August 2016

Officials believe the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

Nearly 750 dead in US house fires in 2016

By Steve Filips, 31 March 2016

A leading cause of the tragedies is unsafe alternative heating and lighting methods resulting from utility suspensions.

Deaths in Bronx fires highlight homeless crisis

By our reporters, 4 February 2016

The search for shelter in the largest city in the US, especially in the cold winter weather, has had tragic consequences.

Five immigrant workers die in Novi, Michigan house fire

By a WSWS reporting team, 2 February 2016

The five immigrants, at least three teenagers, were living in the basement of a house owned by the boss of the restaurant where they worked.

US: As winter approaches increasing numbers killed in home fires

By Steve Filips, 14 December 2015

A spate of house fires in recent weeks has pushed total fire deaths this year to more than 2,100, a stark exposure of the social conditions facing the working class.

Deadly fire destroys three apartments in Lynn, Massachusetts

By John Marion, 7 December 2015

The fire moved so quickly in the overcrowded building that four people, including a pregnant woman, were unable to get out alive.

Two Detroit firefighters injured fighting blaze with low water pressure

By Tyler Van Dyke and Lawrence Porter, 13 July 2015

Firefighters had to pump water from blocks away in order to contain a fire that engulfed a five-story apartment building.

London: The Kingsway pavement fire and the need for socialism

By David O’Sullivan, 8 April 2015

Thousands of workers had to be evacuated from the Holborn area.

Building in deadly Manhattan gas explosion had history of dangerous conditions

By Philip Guelpa, 30 March 2015

Repeated instances of illegal and substandard work on the building’s gas delivery system preceded the explosion.

Dozens hurt and two missing after gas explosion and fire level buildings in Manhattan

By Fred Mazelis and Mark Witkowski, 28 March 2015

The latest disaster once again points to aging and neglected infrastructure amidst growing inequality.

Seven children die in New York house fire

By Daniel de Vries, 23 March 2015

The fire, which was apparently sparked by a hot plate, is the deadliest in New York City since 2007, when 10 West African immigrants died in their sub-standard Bronx home.

Saskatchewan Fire Department refuses to answer call; two children die

By Ashley Tseng, 5 March 2015

Two aboriginal children died in a house fire on a Saskatchewan reservation after the fire department in the neighbouring, off-reserve village refused to respond due to an outstanding bill.

Record cold weather in the US leads to spate of deadly house fires

By Evan Blake, 21 February 2015

There have been 576 fatalities from house fires so far this year, often caused by the use of unsafe heating methods to reduce costs amidst record cold weather.

House fires kill 71 people in the US during the first week of February

By Samuel Davidson, 14 February 2015

The death toll is rising steadily as utility costs and cold temperatures force many people to use dangerous space heaters to keep warm.

Two brothers die in Detroit house fire

By Lawrence Porter, 13 February 2015

The fire station nearest to the house was shuttered due to budget cuts.

In the ten days before Christmas, 81 people killed in home fires throughout the US

By Samuel Davidson, 29 December 2014

Increasing numbers of working class families are forced to use unsafe electric or kerosene space heaters in an effort to save money.

Deadly fire exposes hazardous housing conditions in Syracuse, New York

By Steve Filips, 10 December 2014

The neighborhood where three residents died in a house fire on November 13 is well known for poor housing, high unemployment and poverty.

Home fires in the US kill 125 people in just two weeks

By Samuel Davidson, 28 November 2014

Between November 9 and November 22, 125 people died in home fires in the US, bringing the total for the year to more than 2,000.

Portland, Maine: Five young workers die in apartment fire

By John Marion, 5 November 2014

Maine’s deadliest fire in 30 years could have been avoided.

No cause yet determined in Pennsylvania house fire

Hundreds mourn victims in a candlelight vigil

By Samuel Davidson, 25 October 2014

Fire officials have yet to release the cause of the tragic fire that swept through an old wood-frame house in McKeesport, killing four children and two adults.

Six killed in Pittsburgh area house fire

By Evan Winters and Samuel Davidson, 20 October 2014

In the worst such tragedy in recent history, four children and two adults were killed in a fire early Saturday morning in the city of McKeesport.

Chicago apartment fire kills four children

By Marcus Day, 9 September 2014

A fire on Chicago’s impoverished far South Side early Monday morning left four children dead and two adults in critical condition.

Lowell, Mass: Seven die in apartment building destroyed by fire

By John Marion and Kate Randall, 12 July 2014

Witnesses to the early morning blaze described a terrifying scene, with people dropping young children to the street and adults jumping from windows to avoid the flames.

Philadelphia house fire kills four children

By Sandy English, 7 July 2014

The fire was so fast-moving that neither neighbors nor firefighters, who arrived on the scene within three minutes, were able to rescue the four victims.

House fire in Newark, New Jersey kills six family members

By Steve Light, 17 June 2014

The tragedy is the latest in a string of house fires claiming multiple lives in urban areas scarred by poverty, cuts to city services and poor housing conditions.

Two-year-old killed in Pittsburgh-area fire

Deplorable housing for workers and poor leads to tragedy

By Samuel Davidson, 7 April 2014

The tragic death of a two-year-old girl in a house fire last month exposes the deplorable housing conditions for the working class and poor in the city of McKeesport, only 12 miles south of Pittsburgh.

One hundred people killed in New York house fires this winter

By Steve Filips, 19 March 2014

This winter’s bitter cold, shabby housing and benefit cuts are driving New York’s fire wave.

The New York City gas explosion and the neglect of infrastructure

By Philip Guelpa, 17 March 2014

The gas explosion in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood is just one of a growing number of deadly incidents resulting from the decades-long neglect of infrastructure.

New York City gas explosion likely caused by 127-year-old pipes

By Gabriel Black, 14 March 2014

The gas explosion that has killed at least eight people and demolished two buildings in New York City is a product of the metropolis’ failing and antiquated infrastructure

Wall Street bonuses up by 15 percent last year

By Andre Damon, 14 March 2014

Bonus payouts for Wall Street employees grew to the highest level since the 2008 crash.

Five die in North Minneapolis fire

By Mike Stapleton, 17 February 2014

A father lost five children in an apartment fire in the poverty-stricken neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

Fire at Quebec retirement home kills dozens

By Keith Jones, 25 January 2014

Firefighters and other emergency workers have pointed to the absence of a sprinkler system in the older half of the residence as the main reason for the horrendous loss of life.

Elderly couple dies in house fire on Detroit’s west side

By Shannon Jones, 6 January 2014

The deaths are the most recent in a series of tragedies related to the use of space heaters in cold weather.

At least one dead in explosion in Minnesota neighborhood

By Eric London, 3 January 2014

Multi-billion dollar CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is likely to blame for an explosion in a working class neighborhood in Minneapolis, which killed at least one worker.

Deadly house fires as winter freeze hits Detroit

By our reporting team, 13 December 2013

Two Detroit house fires in the past week have left two children dead and other residents injured.

On-the-spot report

House fire caused by utility shutoff kills three young children in the Bronx

By our reporters, 28 October 2013

The callousness and profit interests of Consolidated Edison led to the deaths in the Highbridge section of New York City’s poorest borough.

Six perish in Ohio home fire

By Samuel Davidson, 18 September 2013

Six members of one family, including five children, were killed in a fire that swept through their trailer home early Sunday morning in Tiffin, Ohio.

Seven killed in Pennsylvania house fire

By Tom Eley, 8 July 2013

A July 4 house fire resulted in the deaths of seven members of a Lancaster, Pennsylvania household.

Four children and two adults killed in Pennsylvania house fire

By Samuel Davidson and Tom Eley, 18 May 2013

Water service had been shut off two weeks before a tragic Mother’s Day house fire took the lives of four children and two adults in the small town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

Two die in northeast Detroit house fire

By Bryan Dyne, 3 May 2013

An elderly couple, one of whom was disabled, died in a house fire in northeast Detroit, the latest fire-related tragedy in the city.

Eight children dead in fires in the US south

By Nick Barrickman, Rosa Shahnazarian and Matthew MacEgan, 29 April 2013

Two devastating house fires claimed the lives of nine people in Georgia and South Carolina last week.

Emergency manager to impose contract on Detroit firefighters

By WSWS reporting team, 16 April 2013

Detroit firefighters will have a new contract imposed on them by emergency manager Kevyn Orr starting July 1.

Fire kills five near Sherrard, Illinois

By George Marlowe, 1 April 2013

A deadly fire in Sherrard, Illinois killed five people in a double-wide mobile home.

Germany: Turkish mother and seven children killed in fire

By K. Nesan, 13 March 2013

A fire in southern Germany on Sunday claimed the lives of eight members of a Turkish family.

Kentucky house fire kills seven

By Naomi Spencer, 11 March 2013

A young couple and five small children died in a house fire in southeastern Kentucky Saturday morning.

Four perish in Maryland house fire

By Adam Sagitov, 28 February 2013

A house fire claimed the lives of three children and one adult Thursday in a Washington, DC suburb.

EMS cuts delayed ambulance in fatal Detroit fire

By Lawrence Porter, 31 January 2013

Anger is growing over the death of a six-year-old boy in a Southwest Detroit house fire.

Another Detroit child dies in house fire

By Lawrence Porter, 30 January 2013

Early Tuesday morning, a six-year-old child died in a house fire on Detroit’s southwest side. His brother, 4, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Detroit house fire kills nine-month-old child

By Bryan Dyne and Lawrence Porter, 28 January 2013

The Wayne County Medical Examiner issued a report stating that the child, Akira Perkins-Williams, succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Closed fire station costs Detroit resident her home

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 January 2013

The Detroit Fire Department took 21 minutes to respond to a fire because nearby stations were either closed or browned out, a result of the cuts to public services in Detroit.

House fires kill 11 in US south

By Matthew MacEgan, 12 January 2013

The past two weeks have seen a host of residential fires across the country resulting in multiple deaths, including many children.

Michigan woman killed in blaze near closed fire station

By David Brown and Andre Damon, 7 December 2012

A 73-year old Alabama woman visiting relatives in Taylor, Michigan burned to death in a mobile home Thursday morning in a fire rescuers believe could have been ignited by a space heater.

Firefighter says budget cuts are “killing people.”

Elderly couple dies in Detroit fire

By Lawrence Porter and Bryan Dyne, 21 November 2012

A fire on the west side of Detroit early Sunday morning resulted in the deaths of an elderly couple in their 70s, Kyle and Theresa Bozeman.

Five deaths in Baltimore row house fire

By Nick Barrickman, 13 October 2012

Not until later reports of the tragedy were made public was it revealed that four of the five deaths were young children.

Firefighters speak with the WSWS at Burn premiere

By Lawrence Porter and Bryan Dyne, 3 October 2012

WSWS reporters spoke to firefighters at the premiere of Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit.

Detroit to lay off 164 firefighters

By David Brown, 27 June 2012

Democratic Party Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit has announced plans to lay off 18 percent of the city’s firefighters.

Housing and utilities are a social right

Statement by Phyllis Scherrer, SEP candidate for vice president

By Phyllis Scherrer, 21 April 2012

The tragic fires in Philadelphia last week, which claimed the lives of six residents and two firefighters, are an indictment of the social conditions created by the crisis and decay of American capitalism.

Spate of fires kills eight in Philadelphia

By Naomi Spencer, 18 April 2012

Three fires in less than a week have claimed eight lives in Philadelphia. Behind the tragedies looms a spiraling social crisis in the United States.

Seventeen migrant workers die in Moscow fire

By Clara Weiss, 7 April 2012

At least 17 migrant workers, apparently undocumented and from Central Asian republics, died in a horrific fire in the southwest of Moscow early Tuesday morning.

West Virginia house fire kills nine

By Clement Daly, 26 March 2012

A house fire in Charleston, West Virginia early Saturday morning left nine dead, including seven children.

Detroit residents speak about deadly house fire

By David Brown, 6 March 2012

A house fire Sunday night in a Detroit working class neighborhood claimed the life of an elderly woman and hospitalized her husband. WSWS reporters spoke with some of the neighbors.

Chicago officials deny antiquated fire code caused woman’s death

By Christopher Davion and Kristina Betinis, 18 January 2012

A 32-year old woman died last week when the apartment building elevator delivered her into a blaze on the 12th floor.

House fire caused by space heater kills three in Ohio

By Naomi Spencer, 30 December 2011

A Columbus, Ohio family was killed in a house fire on Christmas Eve after a space heater ignited the mattress they were sleeping on.

Disabled man killed in Detroit-area apartment fire

By Lawrence Porter, 23 December 2011

A deadly fire erupted early Thursday morning in Hazel Park, Michigan, killing a retired auto worker and injuring three other people.

Detroit house-fire season begins amid cuts in firefighting

By Lawrence Porter, 12 December 2011

Early Friday morning a fire swept through a two-flat home on Detroit’s eastside, trapping two families with five children in a massive blaze.

House fire in Detroit suburb kills three in multi-generation home

By Lawrence Porter, 5 October 2011

According to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, the largest increase in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households in modern history has occurred in the last three years.

Six die in Vancouver, Washington, house fire

By Hector Cordon, 2 May 2011

The fire appears to have been started by Tuan Dao, who perished along with his five children, after the bank foreclosed on his house and he was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Detroit house fire kills child, injures another

By Lawrence Porter, 23 April 2011

A house fire on Detroit’s northeast side killed one child and severely injured another.

Pennsylvania farm family loses seven children to fire

By Phyllis Scherrer and Andrea Peters, 10 March 2011

Late Tuesday evening a fire engulfed the house on a family farm in Pennsylvania, killing seven of eight children.

New York: Elderly woman killed in blaze after fire department cutbacks

By Ali Ismail, 18 February 2011

Budget cutbacks were blamed for the death of one woman and the injuries of seven other residents after a fire in a Brooklyn apartment building

Unemployed Detroit woman dies in house fire

Poverty, space heaters and steel bars: a common deadly mix

By Lawrence Porter, 28 January 2011

An unemployed nurse died in a house fire on Detroit’s east side Thursday morning. Irene Smith Spencer, 49, was using space heaters.

Detroit house fire injures five

By Lawrence Porter, 26 January 2011

Early Monday morning, fire destroyed a home on the west side of Detroit where both the gas and electricity had been shut off.

Fire destroys three homes in historic Delray neighborhood of Detroit

By Lawrence Porter, 22 January 2011

On Thursday a fire in an abandoned Detroit home quickly spread to the occupied homes on either side, creating a total loss for the neighbors.