Authorities say that improper disposal of smoking materials caused a fatal fire on Tuesday in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The fire at 48 Albemarle Road took the life of the sole occupant, 53-year-old Phillip MusKalski. Investigators say the fire started on or near the living room couch and Muskalski was known to be a heavy smoker.
In 2013, 22 percent of fire deaths in Massachusetts homes were caused by the improper use and disposal of smoking materials, according to the Department of Fire Services.
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"While overall fire deaths are declining, 2014 has been a terrible year for fire deaths. This man is the 55th fire death in 2014; up from the 44 that took place in Massachusetts in 2013," State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan added in a statement.
The fire was investigated by the Waltham Fire Department, Waltham Police Department, State Police, and the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.