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Minnesota fire marshal gives holiday safety tips

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's top fire official warns the same holiday traditions that give you a warm glow can lead to fires.

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Last winter, structure fires in Minnesota caused nearly $3 million in property damage and killed two people between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.

State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl says cooking, open flames and heating account for 70 percent of Minnesota structure fires year-round.

For keeping your home safe this holiday, Rosendahl says never leave a hot stove unattended, and never use water to extinguish a stovetop grease fire — smother the fire with a pan lid instead.

Always leave 3 feet between a lighted candle and anything that can burn, and never burn giftwrap in a fireplace.

And keep space heaters at least 3 feet from walls, furniture and drapes.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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