Thirty-seven people died last year in fires in Minnesota – the second-lowest number on record and the lowest number of fire deaths since 2009 when 35 people were killed, according to final numbers released by the Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division.

Fire death numbers become final once Minnesota hospital officials report information to the Minnesota Department of Health. People age 50 or older accounted for 59 percent of people killed.

Careless smoking was the leading cause of fires where a cause could be determined. There were no working smoke alarms in 30 percent of the homes where people died.

Last year’s fire death total is 46 percent lower than the 68 deaths in 2017.