State Fire Marshal: Minnesota fire deaths reach 27-year high

(ABC 6 News) – Fire deaths in Minnesota have reached a 27-year high, according to the State Fire Marshal.

In 2022, 70 Minnesotans lost their lives because of fire. That is the most in a single year since 1995. The State Fire Marshal said it is working with fire departments and Minnesotans across the state to bring that number down.

“So many of those deaths were preventable,” said interim State Fire Marshal Amanda Swenson. “Making fire safety and prevention a habit can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.”

Fire deaths occur under a variety of circumstances. The deaths in 2022 touched nearly every demographic from the young to the old; they happened in a variety of environments and situations; and occurred through day or night.

The State Fire Marshal said smoking caused the fires in nine of the fire deaths, and drugs or alcohol were present at 29 of the 70 fire deaths in 2022 while 13 people died in car fires.

While only 16 of the recorded fire deaths included smoke alarm data, the State Fire Marshal says working alarms save lives and without one, your chances of surviving a house fire are cut in half.

The State Fire Marshal says to practice fire prevention, have a fire escape plan and practice it, and test smoke alarms monthly.

Fifty-nine percent of all fatal fires in 2022 took place in greater Minnesota. Those fires accounted for 41 of the 70 deaths.

Learn more about fire prevention, HERE.