With just over half the year to go, more Hoosiers have already died in fires than in all of 2012.
Fires have claimed 55 lives this year. That‘s nine more than last year, and 12 more than in 2011. The surge is partly the result of a run of eight fires which killed 24 people. Five people died in a February mobile home fire in the town of English, and five more fires killed three people each. No fire last year killed more than two people, and there were only three of those.
State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson says the grim total underlines the need to have a working smoke detector. He says smoke detectors were absent or broken in more than half the 39 fires, despite a state law requiring a working detector in every home.
Greeson says the state has applied for a 300-thousand-dollar grant to make detectors more widely available statewide.