ST. PAUL — Minnesota fire deaths dropped 46% last year, making it the second-lowest number on record, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said.

In 2018, 37 people died in fires across the state with careless smoking being the leading cause of fire where a cause was determined, the DPS State Fire Marshal Division said in its finalized report Tuesday, June 11. It was the lowest death total since 35 people were killed in 2009.

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People age 50 or older accounted for nearly 60% of people killed in a fire. The DPS also said there were no working smoke alarms in 30% of the homes where people died.

The fire death rate in Minnesota has dropped 63% since the 1970s, the DPS reported.