MONTEVIDEO (KMHL) – The state fire Marshal says a Montevideo woman was the fourth smoking-related fire death in Minnesota since January 9.

Jim Smith says 83-year-old Virginia Kruger, of Montevideo appeared to die in an apartment fire that appears to be smoking-related. Smith says smoking is typically leading the cause of fatal fires each year in Minnesota.

He notes there have been four smoking-related fire deaths already in 2020 in Minnesota.

The state fire marshal has safety tips to prevent fatal fires.

  • If you smoke, take it outside
  • Properly dispose of cigarettes outside in a sturdy container filled with sand or water
  • Make sure your cigarettes are fully extinguished
  • Never smoke while using medical oxygen or in a home where medical oxygen is being used
  • And remember: most smoking-related fire deaths happen to people under the influence of drugs or alcohol