Last month the NFPA released several reports on fire losses in 2012. The report Catastrophic Multi-death Fires in 2012 covers the seventeen incidents that had five or more deaths. These incidents make up .001% of the total fires for the year and 2.9% of the total deaths.
The incident with the single largest loss-of-life was not any of the usual suspects such as a building collapse or a gas explosion. It was a series of car accidents due to low visibility from a brush fire near a highway. On January 29th, on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Florida, 25 vehicles were involved in six crashes that left 11 people dead. The helicopter footage of the aftermath is harrowing but tenable given the visibility captured in the photograph (via Daily Mail UK).
The timeline of that day’s events as fascinating as it is tragic: