MN Fire Deaths

MN Fire Deaths Click to Enlarge

Thirty-six people died last year in fires, a 47 percent drop from 2017 when 68 people died, according to preliminary numbers released today by the Department of Public Safety.


Last year’s drop in fire deaths comes on the heels of a particularly deadly 2017, which saw the most fire deaths in Minnesota since 1995.

Fire death numbers become final once Minnesota hospital officials report their information to the Minnesota Department of Health in the spring. If last year’s numbers hold, 2018 will be the least deadly year since 2009 when there were 35 fire deaths.

There have been two fire deaths so far in 2019, one in Brainerd and the other in St. Paul.

The leading cause of fatal fires last year in Minnesota was careless smoking (five deaths), followed by cooking (three), and portable heaters (two), according to preliminary data. There were 20 deaths in which the fire’s cause is undetermined.


State Fire Marshal Bruce West said it is difficult to pinpoint a reason for the decrease in fire deaths. He credits Minnesota fire departments for getting out into their communities and teaching people about fire prevention and fire safety.


He also believes Minnesotans are taking seriously their role in keeping themselves safe.



Fire deaths the past decade
  • 2018: 36
  • 2017: 68
  • 2016: 43
  • 2015: 57
  • 2014: 44
  • 2013: 44
  • 2012: 50
  • 2011: 56
  • 2010: 39
  • 2009: 35

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