State officials are concerned about an increase in fire deaths caused by unattended cooking. Kitchen fires are blamed for six fatalities in 2013 after one the year before and zero in 2011. State Fire Marshal Bruce West advises people to keep towels, rags and potholders away from the stove, and have a lid next to the pot or pan, so if there’s a fire you can slide the it over and smother the flames. West also says it’s important to keep cooking surfaces clean and grease away from heating surfaces. Unattended cooking is now tied with careless smoking as the top cause of fire deaths in Minnesota.