Good news to assuage pyrophobics across the five boroughs: the FDNY released their annual report, and revealed that there were only 73 civilian fire deaths in 2009, down from 86 in 2008.
This is the lowest number of fire-related fatalities in the city's history, since they started keeping records in the early 20th century. The previous low was 77 in 1919; the all-time high was 310 in 1970. As the Post points out, it's been a remarkable run for the FDNY over the last decade: "up until 2002, there had been only three years (1919, 1921 and 1927) when the city recorded fewer than 100 fire deaths." Since 2002, it's been below 100 six times.
In addition, the FDNY recorded its fastest emergency response time to structural fires—four minutes and two seconds, down over 30 seconds from 2005. For further reading, check out the full FDNY report [pdf], and the Post has its own graph [pdf] covering some of 2009's hottest statistics .