Discarded cigarette caused fatal Suffolk fire

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 4:44 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 29 at 11:33 AM

4/29 11:30 a.m. UPDATE: The victim has been identified as 58-year-old Terrence Michael Battle. *****

UPDATE:  4:45 p.m   The Suffolk Fire Marshal's office has confirmed that a "carelessly discarded cigarette" was the cause of a fire at a duplex in the 4600 block of Hardy Drive that killed a man that lived in the duplex. 

Suffolk spokesperson Diana Klink reports there were smoke detectors in the duplex and they were heard by residents in unit B who escaped the blaze. However the surviving resident of unit A says they did not hear the alarm.

The medical examiner has not yet confirmed the name of the victim.
*****

SUFFOLK -- One person died in an early morning duplex fire in Suffolk, authorities said.

Crews responded to the 4600 block of Hardy Drive around 3:30 a.m.

Officials said one of two residents in the 'A' side of the duplex was found dead inside.

"He was calling and trying to get out but I guess the flames were so bad that he couldn’t make it" says Brenda Johnson, a neighbor.

A family of four lived on the other side of the duplex. None were injured.

The name of the victim has not been released pending notification of next of kin.  However, neighbors say the man who died was well liked.

"I broke down, I broke down, he's been in my life since i was 16 years old.  He was a very friendly guy he was pretty close, he is definitely going to be missed.", says Crystal Johnson, another neighbor.

The American Red Cross is providing assistance to four residents. 

The fire has been ruled accidental.  The cause remains under investigation.

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