Three Minnesotans have been killed in separate house fires over the span of three days.
The latest fire happened on Saturday near Duluth in Normanna Township. According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the house was fully engulfed in flames when deputies and firefighters got there. Two people were able to escape from the home, which authorities say was full of smoke.
A 52-year-old man who lived at the residence was first reported "unaccounted for," with the sheriff's office later saying they found human remains during an extensive search. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Just two days earlier, two people were killed in separate house fires in northeastern Minnesota. The Duluth News Tribune reports that human remains were found in the debris left behind after a fire completely destroyed a house in Hermantown early Thursday morning. Authorities believe the remains belong to an 87-year-old woman who lived there.
And later Thursday night, a fire burned down another home in Brevator Township, north of Cloquet. The Pioneer Press says human remains were found Friday morning, which authorities believe belong to a female homeowner who has not been located.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of both fires.
Minnesota fire deaths
Fire deaths in Minnesota have actually been going down over the years.
According to the Department of Public Safety, there were 36 fire deaths in 2016, compared to 57 the previous year. The chart below shows fire deaths have decreased pretty steadily over the last 45 years.
The State Fire Marshal's Office has advice for minimizing the risk of fires:
• Stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking.
• Never leave items like candles and space heaters unattended.
• Keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children.
• Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. They give you the crucial time needed to escape if there is a fire.