Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Fire Marshal's office says fire deaths in the first six months of the year fell from a year ago, when the state had an unusually high number of deaths.
Interim fire marshal Donald Cooper said Wednesday that 60 people have died in fires since January, compared to 99 people during the first six months of last year.
A total of 186 people died in fires in Ohio last year, including two firefighters killed in Colerain Township in suburban Cincinnati.
That figure was the highest this decade and the most since 1992 when 188 people died in fires in Ohio.
Cooper says one factor behind last year's increase was a number of arson fires that each killed several people, including a January 2008 fire that killed six in Youngstown.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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