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Z Rechtsmed. 1985;94(1):71-9.

Accidental fire deaths. The 5-year Metropolitan Dade Country experience from 1979 until 1983.


Accidental fire deaths that occurred in Metropolitan Dade County, encompassing Miami, Fla., USA, during the years from 1979 until 1983 were studied. A total of 108 cases were collected, representing 6.1% of the nontraffic-related accidents during this 5-year period, and analyzed as to the age, race, sex, cause of death of the victim along with the blood alcohol content at autopsy, toxicologic analysis, location of the fire, and how the fire started. Essentially, the victims ages cluster in the 0-5 years and does 70 years, although other age groups are evenly distributed. A white male population predominates. The cause of death is listed as either smoke inhalation or thermal injury. Most toxicologic analyses were not performed due to the high rate of fire rescue intervention and at least emergency room hospitalization prior to death. Carboxyhemoglobin levels, when analyzed, ranged from less than 20% to over 80%. In a smaller group of cases, cyanide was analyzed for and was found negative (or none detected) in the majority of the cases. More fires occurred in residences and started due to cigarette smoking or electric malfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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