Smoking Cited for 10-Story Indiana Apartment Building Fire

August 29, 2012

Fire investigators in Evansville, Ind., say smoking materials in a bed caused a smoky blaze that forced the evacuation of a 10-story apartment building for the elderly and the disabled where one person died.

Authorities say 66-year-old Gwendolyn Hunt died in the first-floor apartment where the accidental fire started Sunday evening. Investigators tell the Evansville Courier & Press and WFIE-TV that the fire spread quickly because she was using an oxygen tank.

Fire officials say about a dozen people were taken to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries and the tower’s some 180 residents weren’t allowed to return to their apartments overnight.

Firefighters used a ladder truck to help rescue some people from balconies, and residents say they encountered smoke inside on the fifth floor.

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