St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - While the numbers are still well below those seen a few decades ago, last year was a bad one for fire deaths in Minnesota. The State Department of Public Safety has released a preliminary report that shows at least 63 died as a result of fires in 2017.

The death toll last year was up 47-percent from the previous year. The tally is close to 100-percent above the total number of fire deaths reported in 2009 when Minnesota set a record for the lowest number of fire fatalities at 35. State officials say the last time the fire death toll was above 60 was in 2002 when 64 deaths were recorded. Minnesota’s worst year for fatal fires was 1976 when 134 people perished.

2017 ended on an especially tragic note when four people died in a house fire in Hibbing. The victims of the fire, which remain under investigation, were two young children and their grandparents. Since the start of this year, state officials say they have already received reports of 7 fire-related deaths.

Fire deaths the past decade

  • 2017: 63
  • 2016: 43
  • 2015: 57
  • 2014: 44
  • 2013: 44
  • 2012: 50
  • 2011: 56
  • 2010: 39
  • 2009: 35

  • Listen to James Rabe in the mornings from 6a to 10a on Y105 FM.

    ----------