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Cigarette Likely Cause Of Fatal Fire

A cigarette likely started a fire that killed a 62-year-old north Spokane resident this week, a fire investigator said Friday.

The blaze began in Jean Gertsch’s bedroom before spreading to the rest of the house, said Capt. Ernie Nye of the Spokane Fire Department.

Gertsch was a smoker and there was evidence that she had been smoking in her bedroom the night before the fire, Nye said. There were no signs of electrical problems or other possible causes, he added.

Nye said she may have dropped a cigarette on her bed.

Firefighters found Gertsch’s body just inside the back door of her North Martin home. She apparently died of smoke inhalation and carbon-monoxide poisoning.

, DataTimes