Fire deaths up from last year across state

Featured photo: Two people died in April at this home in McGregor. A State Fire Marshal Division investigator says smoking caused the deadly blaze. Photo and caption courtesy of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The newly appointed Fire Marshal for the state of Minnesota reports that 42 people died from fires last year, a 14 percent increase from 2018.

Careless smoking is the leading cause of the deaths, according to a blog post from the Department of Public Safety.

Fire Marshal Jim Smith says, “One of the reasons the SFMD collects data on number and cause of fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries is to learn from them. And to a certain extent, they have succeeded: the fire death rate in Minnesota has dropped 63 percent since the 1970s.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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