There were 64 deaths due to fires in 2011, three of them firefighters and 61 civilians, according to the 2011 New Jersey Fire report. Most fatalities occurred due to residential fires (77 percent), while vehicular fires caused 18 percent of the fatalities. Fires occurring at single-family dwellings made up about half (47 percent) of all residential fires.
The three firefighter deaths were all due to heart attacks, and all three men were in their 40s. Thomas Shields, 41, of the Flanders Fire Department, was a 12-year volunteer. Andrew Boyt, 45, of Cape May, and Jonathan Young, 49, of Roselle, were both career firefighters with 20 years on the job.