Updated:
Original:

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.

Hey Minnesota – we did a pretty good job avoiding fire deaths last year.

New figures show 36 people died in fires in the state through all of 2016, the Department of Public Safety said. That's the second-lowest figure since they began tracking fire deaths in 1970. The only year it was lower came back in 2009, when there were 35.

The highest ever came in 1976 – 134 people died in fires in Minnesota that year.

The state saw its first fire death of 2017 Thursday morning, when one person died in an apartment fire in Mound, the department said.

But once again, smoking is a problem

However: Careless smoking is still a big issue. It was once again the leading cause of fire deaths.

Seven of the 36 deaths were attributed to fires from smoking.

So what can you do to avoid careless smoking? The U.S. Fire Administration says you should:

  • 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.

Four of the 2016 Minnesota fire deaths were due to combustibles being to close to heat, and another four were determined to be arson or suicide.

With 13 fire deaths, the cause of the blaze couldn't be determined.

The state's Fire Marshal has more suggestions to avoid fires here.

Next Up

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

At least 1 dead after 'serious crash' on I-94 in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

pixabay - us supreme court

MN, WI attorneys general push SCOTUS to block to Texas abortion law

They say the law is in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent."

Related

Fewer people are smoking cigarettes – and fire deaths are tumbling in Minnesota

Minnesota is heading for its lowest-ever number of fire deaths – and the drop in smokers could be playing a big part.

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

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

Smoking still more common among Minnesotans with low incomes, less education

Some groups still smoke at disproportionately higher rates than others.

That smoke in the Minneapolis skyline is a fire at a recycling plant

The fire is at a Northern Metal Recycling building – the same company that was dinged for air pollution issues earlier this year.

Violent crime was up in Minneapolis: What the mayor and police chief had to say about it

The mayor and police chief talk about violent crime in Minneapolis last year.