According to the Minnesota fire marshal, 2017 has been the deadliest fire season the state has seen in about 15 years.
After five deaths in our area this week alone, and one particularly devastating fire in their city, the Hibbing fire department is calling a recent surge in smoke alarm sales a glimmer of hope.
At the Hibbing L&M Fleet Supply store manager, Jeff Lindsay, said a few of his shelves are unusually empty.
"Buyers are working frantically right now to work with some different suppliers to get us back in stock," he said
Smoke and CO detectors, fire extinguishers and even the nine volt batteries that power them are running low after a surge in sales.
"This is the first time I can recall smoke detectors selling this quickly in light of a tragedy for sure," Lindsay said.
That tragedy took place early Tuesday morning. A fire broke out at a Hibbing home, killing four: two children and their grandparents.
"Anytime little kids are involved, close family members, it becomes a heartfelt issue," Lindsay said.
It was on shopper, Russ Lucente's, mind as well as he stopped by the emptying aisle.
"[I got the] last smoke detector pretty much," he said acknowledging the empty shelves.
With a brother on the Chisholm fire department, Lucente said he's usually careful when it comes to fire safety, but recent events have become a more urgent reminder.
"A grandfather and grandmother passed away with their two grandchildren just a few days ago here in Hibbing in a fire and you know, better safe than sorry," he said.
From the information we've gotten from the Hibbing Fire Department, we don't know yet whether the home that burned had working smoke alarms but behind the empty hardware store shelves, they're saying there's a "glimmer of hope."
They're seeing neighbors taking extra precautions to protect themselves and their families should tragedy strike again.
The Minnesota fire marshal recommends at least one smoke detector on each floor, and one in each sleeping room.
They also recommend having the alarms interconnected and kept away from anywhere they might freeze.