Number of Fire Fatalities Went Down in 2007 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Number of Fire Fatalities Went Down in 2007

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In 2006 alone fire agencies across the state reported 67 fire fatalities to the Office of the Fire Marshal. But last year that number went down by 25% to only 50 fatalities.

Fire officials say most of these fires happen in homes, where people tend to feel the safest. The leading cause of fire fatalities is smoking.

Richland Fire Department says they only had one fire fatality in 2007. A number they hope remains low this year, as long as people are careful.

"Probably the biggest thing that they can do is not smoke indoors or smoke when they're tired, that seems to be a common factor, so smoke outside definitely and make sure that your smoking materials are extinguished," said Battalion Chief Curt Walsh, from the Richland Fire Department.

According to the 2006 State Fire Report, smoking-related fires have caused about 22% of fire fatalities over the last five years. Coming in second are fires caused by electrical appliances or wires around the house not installed properly.