Bedding ignited by cigarette caused fatal Ark fire

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Little Rock fire investigators say a blaze that killed a high-rise apartment building resident started when a cigarette ignited some bedding.

Fire Capt. Randy Hickmon said Thursday investigators found a burned headboard and cigarette butts in Vertis Brown’s unit at the Plaza Towers Apartments. Hickmon says the 72-year-old Brown, who was on oxygen, was smoking in bed.

Officials determined that the June 11 fire spread to another apartment and sent smoke into the rest of the building. Brown died two days later and several other tenants were injured.

Residents were allowed to return to the building on Wednesday, but had to leave again after a water line broke.

Hickmon says it may take a few days before cleanup is complete and the residents can return.



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