Police: Cigarette may have caused fatal Butler County fire
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A Butler County man died in an apartment fire Wednesday night that may have been caused by a smoldering cigarette, police said.
Jackson police Chief Terry Seilhamer said the Butler County deputy coroner pronounced 53-year-old Donald Alan Sutch dead in an apartment on the 500 block of German Street.
A known smoker, Mr. Sutch was found in his bed, adjacent to the living room where the fire may have started in the upholstery of a couch or loveseat about 8:30 p.m., Chief Seilhamer said.
Mr. Sutch died likely died of smoke inhalation, as there were no obvious signs of trauma or burns on his body, the chief said.
The building is a 10-unit apartment complex owned by Mr. Sutch's father and houses 15 residents.
Other units suffered smoke and water damage and tenants were displaced, but the fire was largely confined to Mr. Sutch's apartment.
One resident was treated for smoke inhalation at a hospital. A firefighter was treated at the scene for exhaustion, Chief Seilhamer said.
The Pennsylvania fire marshal's office is leading the investigation and will determine the blaze's cause and origin.
Fire companies from Harmony, Zelienople, Cranberry and Evans City responded.
The local Red Cross assisted one family with food, clothing and shelter.
First Published November 29, 2012 11:00 am