Cigarette causes deadly Suffolk fire

Photo by WAVY/Larry Carney

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Suffolk fire officials say a carelessly discarded cigarette was the cause of a fire that killed a man inside a duplex early Monday morning.

Tim Kelley with the city of Suffolk said crews were dispatched to the 4600 block of Hardy Drive just before 3:30 a.m. for a report of a house fire. As they battled the flames, Suffolk firefighters found a resident dead inside a duplex.

The duplex is split into two sections labeled “A” and “B,” with two adults living in “A” and four adults living in “B.” Kelley said the victim was found in the “A” section.

The victim has been identified as Terry Battle, 58, of Suffolk.

Terry Battle, photo courtesy neighbors.
Terry Battle, photo courtesy neighbors.

The fire was declared under control at 4:42 a.m. and there were no other injuries.

A neighbor, Doncilla Brown, said her only regular interaction with the victim was a friendly wave: “I’d be coming in my driveway, he’d be sitting on his porch. He’d wave. I’d wave back. It’s just tragic that’s all I can say. It’s just tragic.”

The Suffolk Fire Marshals Office has confirmed the cause of the fire was accidental. Kelley said there were smoke detectors in both units of the duplex, but the surviving resident of section “A” said he did not hear an alarm sound from the device in his residence.

The American Red Cross is assisting residents in both units.


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