Smoking materials blamed for fatal Christmas Eve fire

ABINGTON, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say improper disposal of smoking materials caused a deadly Christmas Eve fire at an elderly housing complex in Massachusetts.

The Fire Marshal says the fire that killed 71-year old Stanley Simon in Abington started in an upholstered reclining chair in his den, and that he had been smoking cigars.

Simon was found dead in his third-floor apartment at the Chestnut Glen complex. Fire officials say the building has sprinklers in hallways but not apartments.

Four others in the building were treated for exposure to smoke, and 47 were temporarily removed from an adjacent building.

Fire officials say cigars aren’t required to meet state fire prevention standards that apply to cigarettes.

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