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.
"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.