Fire investigators suspect careless smoking is to blame for a Black Rock house fire Friday night that killed 62-year-old Ronald McNeight, according to city fire marshals.
Lt. Garnell M. Smith, commander of the Fire Investigation Unit, said Monday that McNeight was a chain smoker and might have been smoking while sitting in his recliner chair in a second-floor living room at 255 Dearborn St., where the fire started at about 9 p.m.
McNeight, a retired pilot, died in the flames, and his body was recovered in the chair.
Smith said investigators are still awaiting autopsy results.
McNeight's wife, Marlene A., 60, was sleeping on the first floor.
Five neighbors broke down a first-floor door and led her and all her pets to safety.