TOPEKA (KSNT)- The Topeka Fire Department released their annual numbers on Monday for the first time in several years.
Fire Chief Randy Phillips said the department is releasing the report because it wants to be transparent with the community and let people know what their taxpayer money is going to.
Compared to 2021, TFD reported a 29 percent increase in structural fires in 2022. They responded to 23,762 calls last year. More than 1,200 of these calls were related to fires. Of those called, 346 were structure fires in 2022, while 195 were house fires. However, Chief Phillips said vacant house fires aren’t as big a problem as people might think.
“Comparing the ’21 numbers to the ’22 numbers, we haven’t seen a significant increase in fires in vacant facilities,” Chief Phillips said. “I think there is just more community focus on the issue of vacant facilities currently in the city. And that’s just part of the city’s overall effort to change the culture of property maintenance.”
Chief Phillips said the goal for the future is to do everything possible to limit the possibility of injuries and deaths.