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DPS: ‘Fire deaths increase 13 percent in 2020’

At least 53 people died last year in fires in Minnesota, a 13 percent increase over the 47 fire deaths in 2019, according to preliminary numbers from the Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD). That number is the highest since 2017, when there were 68 fire deaths.

“There are many little things we can do to prevent a devastating fire from happening in our homes,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Smith. “It is important to practice fire prevention and safety every day.”

Smoking was the leading cause of fatal fires in Minnesota with seven people having died in smoking-related fires, though that number could rise as investigators continue determining fire causes. Gas-related explosions were the second-leading cause in 2020 (6) and cooking-related fires were the third-leading cause of death (5).

Fire death numbers will become final later this year once Minnesota hospital officials report their information to the Minnesota Department of Health.