Cigarette causes fire
A Louisville, Ken., fire that killed 10 people in early February was likely started by a cigarette, a fire official said Thursday.
According to Rob Goodwin, the chief deputy fire marshal, an ashtray was found near a chair and a burn pattern indicates that the chair was the fire’s starting location.
Four adults and six children all died from smoke inhalation in the fire, which occurred on Feb. 6 in Bardstown. Only one person survived. All of the victims were from the same extended family.
The potential victim who left the cigarette was not named. Investigators said that some of the adults in the house were regular smokers.
From where the victims were found, it appears that they tried to escape but couldn’t get out of the house. Goodwin said that the cigarette burned for 40 minutes while producing toxic smoke without anyone noticing it. The fire then spread rapidly and engulfed the house.
The Kentucky Legislature is considering passing a law requiring cigarettes sold in the state to be made out of fire-safe paper, which puts itself out when left alone. Six other states have passed laws like this, along with another 12 pending similar measures.
Within days of the fire, arson, electrical problems and gas leaks were ruled out as causes. A smoke detector was found, but it was unclear if it had been working.