MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Safety officials in Minnesota say fire deaths in the state last year were the second-lowest on record.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety released Tuesday the official fire death numbers for 2018, confirming that 37 people died in fires.

That official death total is the second-lowest number on record, officials say. The only year fire deaths were lower was in 2009, when 35 people were killed in fires.

According to DPS findings, careless smoking was the leading cause of fires last year in cases where a cause could be determined.

Additionally, in homes where people died in fires in 2018, 30 percent of them had no working fire alarms. Also, people age 50 or older accounted for nearly 60 percent of fire victims.

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