The Maine Department of Public Safety says 2016 was relatively safe when it came to homicides, fire fatalities and highways deaths in the state.

Spokesman Steve McCausland says the state ended the year with 16 homicides, far below the average of 25.

He says "luck and fate" prevented it from being worst. He noted three incidents since November that could have been even more tragic: A man set fire to his estranged wife's home on Christmas morning, but she escaped. And shootings in Hebron and Naples would have been worse if intended victims were present.

As for fires, the state ended 2016 with 20 deaths, below the average of 25. And the preliminary number of highways deaths stood at 158, also below the average. — AUGUSTA, Maine (AP)

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