Cigarette Butts Near Victim’s Bed Causes Fatal Apartment Fire, Officials Say

A man died early Tuesday morning after cigarette butts and other “smoking materials” around his bed caused a fire in the top unit of a two-story apartment building in Long Beach, fire officials said.

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Long Beach firefighters initially found nothing when they responded to the 1500 block of Magnolia Avenue at about 2:16AM today regarding reports of a fire alarm with smoke at the apartment complex, said Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) spokesman Jake Heflin.

After further investigation, firefighters accessed the second floor of the building and noted light smoke coming from a unit.

They then forced access into the unit and found heavy, black smoke, Heflin said. After firefighters initiated a fire attack they encountered the male victim during primary search operations, he added.

The apartment sustained heavy smoke damage throughout, with fire damage noted in the bedroom, according to Heflin.

The fire was extinguished at about 2:30AM and a total of 27 firefighters were at the scene of this incident.

Long Beach fire investigators and police investigated the fire, which was ultimately ruled accidental and caused by “smoking materials” such as cigarettes and cigarette butts, Heflin said.

No other residents were displaced and no other injuries were reported.



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