Sunday, July 01, 2001

Body found amid home fire

Cigarette may have caused apartment blaze

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HARRISON — Patty Holmes died in her burning, second-floor apartment Saturday morning, but fire officials aren't sure whether a medical condition or smoke inhalation killed her.

        The fire in Ms. Holmes' downtown apartment, 102 Harrison Ave., started in the bedroom shortly before 8 a.m., said Fire Chief Alan Kinnett.

        He suspects that Ms. Holmes, 51, who was known as a heavy smoker, left a lighted cigarette on her bed to go to the bathroom. She may have then suffered a medical ailment — perhaps a stroke or heart attack — when the cigarette set the apartment on fire.

        Firefighters arrived to find flames throughout the apartment. They discovered Ms. Holmes in the bathroom. Only her fingertips were burned.

        There was smoke damage throughout the second floor, causing about $50,000 in damage to the apartment building, Chief Kinnett said.

        Autopsy results should be available today.


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