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New Brighton public safety officials say two women died in a fire early Wednesday at a home that did not have working smoke detectors.

Firefighters pulled Diana Davies, 78, and Maya Davies, 37, from the burning house on the 1500 block of 21st Avenue NW. First responders rendered medical aid at the scene, but were unable to save the women, said New Brighton Fire Marshal Kip LaMotte.

Neighbors noticed smoke coming from the house about 2 a.m. and called 911. The house did not have working smoke alarms, LaMotte said.

Preliminary information indicates the fire started accidentally, LaMotte said.

The deaths of the two women bring this year's total of fire-related deaths in Minnesota to 37, according to the state fire marshal's website. There had been 47 at this time last year.

It also prompted LaMotte to urge people to check that their smoke detectors are in working order, and to install the devices if they don't already have them.

Alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be changed twice a year, the State Fire Marshal's Office said. Alarms over 10 years old should be replaced, the office added.

"Smoke alarms save lives — but only if they are properly maintained," LaMotte said. "Working smoke alarms give you the critical seconds you need to escape a fire."

Most people die in fires before a fire truck even arrives, said Jen Longaecker with the Fire Marshal's Office, underscoring the importance of smoke alarms.

The fire remains under investigation.