'Careless smoking' caused the Alexandria mobile home blaze that killed 2

2 people died in the fire at a mobile home park in Alexandria.

The Essentials

1. A mobile home fire that claimed the life of two people in Alexandria on Friday was caused by "careless smoking."

2. The results of the investigation by the Alexandria Fire Department, Police Department and the State Fire Marshal found that the blaze at the mobile home park started in the living room, near a couch and recliner.

3. Rose Couillard, 59, and James Chandler, 49, died from smoke inhalation. There were no working smoke detectors in the property.

What Else You Should Know

Couillard and Chandler were the first fire deaths of 2018 in Minnesota, following a deadly 2017 that saw at least 60 people die in fires.

The final number of confirmed fire deaths in 2017 hasn't yet been released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and until then we won't have a clear idea how many of these were caused by cigarettes.

But even in 2016, a lower year for fire deaths, "careless smoking" was still a problem in the state, when it was responsible for 7 out of 36 fatal fires.

The National Fire Prevention Association reports that fires started by smoking materials claim more than 500 lives in America each year, and cause more than 17,000 structure fires.

So how do you avoid it? The U.S. Fire Administration suggests the following:

  • Smoke outside so nothing in your home catches fire;
  • Always put cigarettes completely out, every time;
  • Don't smoke while you're tired, or after taking medicine that makes you sleepy;
  • Do not smoke while in bed;
  • And put your cigarette out in an ashtray or bucket filled with sand.

Next Up

Xcel Energy Center

Fiala's goal gives Wild victory over first-place Golden Knights

Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves in the 2-0 victory.


Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.


After an especially bad year for fire deaths, a deadly start to 2018

2 people died in a mobile home fire in Alexandria.

8 fire deaths in 2 weeks, half caused by smoking

Smoking-related fires can be prevented using simple measures.

Way fewer fire deaths last year – but careless smoking is still a problem

The fewest fire deaths ever recorded in a year? 35. The highest? 134.

Dad-of-2 killed in Alexandria hit-and-run

Police need help finding the culprit.

Possible cause of deadly central MN fire revealed

The fire killed two people in a home near McGregor.