The state fire marshal says 35 people were killed by fire in Massachusetts last year, the lowest number in nearly seven decades.
Fire Marshal Stephen Coan attributed the low number to a variety of factors, including the widespread use of smoke detectors; fire-safe cigarette laws; public education campaigns that also target children; better training of firefighters and paramedics; and better burns treatment at hospitals.
He tells The Boston Globe that luck also played a part.
Coan’s office says 17 men, 13 women, and five children died in residential, car and outdoors fires in 2009. That was down from 49 in 2008, and the lowest number since the early 1940s.
The U.S. Fire Safety Administration says Massachusetts has one of the lowest fire death rates in the nation.
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