Official figures show that 303 people died in fires during 2015/16, up 15% on the previous year.
Response times to all types of serious fires also rose, in some cases by as much as one minute and eight seconds.
The Fire Brigades Union said the figures reflect the real impact that cuts have had on the ability of firefighters to do their job in recent years.
Matt Wrack, the union’s general secretary, said: “I think fire crews are increasingly angry about how they are being treated by this Government.
“Firefighters are praised when they rescue people, they deal with particularly difficult incidents, but all the time their job is being undermined by cuts.
“There has been a record number of fire station closures, fire engines being cut and 10,000 firefighter jobs go.
“So that means people are left running the service on a shoestring.”