Holiday season dangerous time for house fires


Entering the holidays – a historically dangerous time of the year for home fires – Minnesota is on track to have fewer residential fire fatalities than last year.

There have been 30 fire-related deaths so far in 2013, well below 44 at this time last year, according to the state fire marshal's office.

Last year, there were 50 total fire fatalities by year's end in Minnesota. That was a dip from 56 in 2011.

The state’s all-time low fire-death figure was 35 in 2009 and the high was 134 in 1976, state officials report.

Last year, there were three fire fatalities and one injury Thursday through Sunday of Thanksgiving week. During Christmas week, there were three fire fatalities and four injuries Christmas Eve through Jan. 1.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal notes that fires often break out where families feel the safest – at home. Among the most recent fatalities occurred in St. Paul over the weekend. Careless smoking in bed was blamed in that blaze.

If you are gearing up to prepare a Thanksgiving feast, take note: Unattended cooking continues to be the No. 1 cause of structure fires, Minnesota fire officials say. Many of those blazes are grease-fueled, and panicked homeowners often grab for water or a fire extinguisher that spreads the flames, state officials say.

“Holiday cooking can be time-consuming, complicated and messy,” Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl said in a news release. “But I assure you that following a half-dozen simple rules can keep us all safe and put an end to these preventable fire deaths.”

Next Up

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.52.12 AM

After fire destroyed their house, couple forced to euthanize beloved dog

The couple's daughter has launched a fundraiser for her parents.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 10.16.14 AM

Investigation after teacher accused of lewd act during distance learning

No charges have been filed yet and the staff member has not been identified.