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Fire marshal: Minn. fire deaths down 14 percent

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The number of people killed in Minnesota fires was down 14 percent in 2013.

According to the State Fire Marshal's Office, there were 43 fire fatalities in 2013 compared to 50 in 2012.

In a news release, State Fire Marshal Bruce West says they are encouraged the numbers are down but the only acceptable number for fire deaths is zero.

The office says the numbers are preliminary because reports from burn centers and hospitals are not yet final, and the state's fire departments are still sending data.

Final numbers for 2013 will be released later this year.

The state's all-time low was 35 in 2009. The high was 134 in 1976.

There were five fire fatalities in January.

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