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Man dies in fire, possible cigarette

A 63-year-old man died in southwest Minneapolis Saturday due to a house fire.

The man, whose name has not been released, tried to flee the fire and was found dead by the time firefighters found him near the back door of the house. The man lived alone.

According to the Star Tribune, indications are that the man had been smoking and an upholstered chair started on fire.

Nearly four years earlier, a woman was critically injured and later died in a house fire that started in a basement bedroom due to smoking. Ironically, this was a home next door to the house that started on fire on Saturday.

The Star Tribune reported that of 55 people who died in fires in Minneapolis between 1996 and 2006, 25 were a result of smoking-related fires.

Sgt. Sean McKenna, who was the source for the Tribune in this article, advises against having an open flame such as a cigarette near any kind of upholstered item.

The Pioneer Press did not report on the death.