ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Numbers released Monday show that Minnesota had its most fire deaths last year since 2002.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office says there were 57 fire deaths in Minnesota last year. That’s the most in 13 years, when there were 64 reported. The numbers are preliminary and become final once hospitals report their information to the Minnesota Department of Public Health.
Fire officials say the No. 1 cause of fatal fires last year was careless smoking. Other causes were unattended cooking, suicide and arson. Authorities say there were 24 fire deaths where the cause of the blaze was undetermined.
The 57 fire deaths last year is also a 30 percent increase from each of the last two years. There were 44 fire deaths in both 2013 and 2014.