Fire fatalities continue to rise in Washington state - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire fatalities continue to rise in Washington state

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  The number of fire fatalities in Washington continues to rise.  The State Fire Marshal's Office released new numbers Wednesday showing the number of deaths from fires are up 35% since the same time last year.

There were 42 deaths so far this year, compared to just 31 at the same point last year.  Deputy State Fire Marshal Melissa Gannie says the reason for this increase is because there have been more multiple fatality fires, and more people have died from arsons.   

Gannie says in all of 2008, 45 people died in fires.  The state total just three away from that and it's only October.  To prevent this number from continuing to rise, firefighters say check your smoke alarm, develop an escape plan, and get sprinklers if you can.  One good reminder for when to change the batteries on your smoke alarm is to do it at daylight saving time.  That's coming up on November 1st.