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DFD responds to ‘unprecedented’ number of fires in 2020

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DULUTH, MN -- The Duluth Fire Department responded to an unprecedented number of fires last year.

In all, numbers show crews fought 141 fires in 2020.

That's 50 more than the year before.

According to Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj, most of the fires started in people's kitchens.

He expects that's because people were home a lot more during the pandemic.

"With the COVID restrictions, we had people home, cooking more," Krizaj said. "Restaurants were closed people sometimes get distracted, especially if they're working from home. It's easy to start something on the stove, start cooking something, and then easily be distracted with a phone call or a meeting."

Duluth Fire reports medical calls went down for the first time in three years.

Those calls dropped by more than 400, consistent with the trend the nation saw of people avoiding a hospital trip during the pandemic.

Briggs LeSavage

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