The number of structural fires in Queens surged last year by 7.7 percent, well above the average increase for the entire city, as firefighters responded to reports of 5,170 burning buildings in 2014, new statistics compiled by the Uniformed Firefighters Association show.
Citywide, structural fires increased 5.7 percent for a total of 25,097 buildings set ablaze.
Overall, 2014 was the busiest year on record for the FDNY since it began keeping records 150 years ago, the report found.
The sharper rise in fires in Queens was likely due to the faster pace of new development in the borough, said Steve Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
“Queens has been growing in leaps and bounds. And the more people you have, the more likely you will need us,” Cassidy said. “The borough is growing faster than any other borough.”
With the fast pace of new development in Queens, Cassidy said he believes the FDNY needs to provide more firefighting resources to the borough. “We’ll see how the department responds to that,” he said.