ALBANY — Cigarettes appear to be a contributing factor in the fire that killed a man in East Albany late Saturday, officials with the Albany Fire Department said.
The fire was reported at around 10:30 p.m. at 1103 E. Third Ave. on Saturday. Ron Rowe, deputy fire chief for the Albany Fire Department, said the building, a two-story wooded frame structure, was 50-60 percent involved when firefighters arrived.
“They found a deceased person upstairs in a room that was heavily involved,” Rowe said. “We extinguished (the flames) and covered him up.”
The ignition factor, Rowe said, appears to have benn some lighted cigarettes in a downstairs bedroom. The deceased was identified as Eddie King, 75. There were seven people living in the house, ranging in age from 4 to 75. Aside from King, all made it out of the home safely, with the exception of a 56-year-old male who was taken to the hospital for burn injuries.
In all, the fire department was there for four hours. Of that, 25 minutes were spent getting the fire under control.
“That is a long time,” the deputy chief said. “With the size of the house and the amount of it involved, that means there was a lot of fire.”
It is believed that King’s death is connected to the fire. The reports from the scene showed that there were not any smoke detectors in the home.
“According to the report, (the firefighters) did not see any smoke detectors … but it was burned so bad,” Rowe said. “(Always) make sure (smoke detectors) are working. I’m not saying that was the case this time, but it is always important just to be sure.”
The displaced occupants are being assisted by the American Red Cross, Rowe said.