Cigarette blamed for fire that killed Memphis man

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Investigators said they believe a lit cigarette was behind a fire that killed a man Thursday night.

According to authorities, a resident at the John Madison Exum Towers on Sharpe Avenue was smoking inside a room overnight. He did not make it out alive when his room in Apt. 111 went up in flames.

The victim has not been identified. Tenants at the towers are 55 and older.

Rhonda Griffin also lives on the first floor and admits she heard a fire alarm go off around 11 p.m., but went back to sleep.

"Then somebody knocked on my door, 'Bang, bang, bang.' I put on my clothes and came out in the hall and I seen all the smoke," she said.

Residents say smoking is not allowed in the buildings and they hate to think what might have happened if the fire had spread.


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