Fire deaths in Minnesota are at their highest level since 2011. Officials say 51 people have died in fires in Minnesota so far this year, compared to 43 at this same point in 2014. Those include three fatalities in as many days this month: a 24-year-old man in Alexandria, a 25-year-old woman in Mountain Iron and a five-year-old girl in Ham Lake. State Fire Marshal Bruce West notes the top three causes of residential fires in Minnesota — cooking, heating and open flames — are holiday staples. He urges Minnesotans to stay in the kitchen while cooking, don’t leave candles or space heaters unattended, keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children, and test your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.