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2017 Likely to See Highest Number of Fire-Related Deaths in Over Two Decades

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IOWA  --  The number of fire-related deaths in Iowa is on track to total more than any year since 1993.

So far, the State Fire Marshall's Office has confirmed 38 people have died in a fire during 2017, but that number is expected to increase by more than a dozen after test results come in.

"We've gotta wait for those autopsy results to come back. There are cases where somebody's died of natural causes, believe it or not," said Special Agent Ron Humphrey. "So we have to wait for things like that to come through to determine if they actually died as a result of the fire because we don't want to include that type of fatality in the fire death statistics for the year."

Twenty of these deaths have happened since Thanksgiving, with nine in Scott County this past week alone.

Last year, 47 people died in Iowa fires, compared to 31 in 2015.

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