Local firefighters sound the alarm after a deadly year across the province with higher than usual fire-related deaths.

Officials say deaths due to fires were on a gradual decline in recent years, but 2018 saw the number rise, with 101 people losing their lives across Ontario.

"Everyone needs to be aware of this because far too often people tend to disassociate themselves from this reality," said Fire Chief Larry Brassard of the Gravenhurst Fire Department.

Fire officials blame careless smoking and kitchen fires as the leading causes of these fires.

"In certain areas of the province, contraband cigarettes that don't self-extinguish when idle have been partly to blame, but its old habits and a lack of common sense that are also contributing factors," said Brassard.

The fire chief goes on to say that these fires are preventable in most cases and says fire extinguishers need to be in the home to prevent a disaster.

Emergency responses in Gravenhurst were up for the first time in six years, though no injuries or deaths were reported.