AP Fire deaths in Minnesota dropped nearly in half in 2018.
A total of 36 people died last year in fires in Minnesota, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by the Department of Public Safety.
That's down from 68 fire deaths in 2017.
The decline comes after a deadly fire year in 2017...which recorded Minnesota's most fire deaths since 1995.
The State Fire Marshal credits Minnesota fire departments for going into their communities and teaching people about fire prevention and safety.
Careless smoking was the leading cause of fatal fires in Minnesota last year - followed by cooking and portable heaters.