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Man found dead in burning apartment identified

A 69-year-old man died in a fire inside his Spokane Valley apartment early today.

Arthur L. Farmer was in bed when flames engulfed a recliner about 5 feet away, according to the Spokane Valley Fire Department. The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office released Farmer’s name this afternoon.

Investigators say Farmer likely died of smoke inhalation, said Bill Clifford, fire department spokesman.

Fire officials believe the fire at 10516 E. Main Ave. started from a cigarette left on the recliner, but investigators also will consider whether an air purifier may have malfunctioned, Clifford said.

Officials said Farmer used an oxygen tank.

A bicyclist reported the fire to 911 at 3:11 a.m.

Before the fire department arrived, neighbors “tried going in and getting the guy out but were unsuccessful,” Clifford said.

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