Smoking Leads to Fatal Retirement Home Fire in Lakeland: Officials

Investigators say a man who was apparently smoking in a room at a Lakeland retirement home died and three other people were injured when fire broke out.

Lakeland Fire Department spokeswoman Janel Vasallo said in a news release Monday that a resident in the room next door pulled the fire alarm early Sunday. That led to the evacuation of 41 other residents.

Three other people were injured but their conditions were not immediately available. An autopsy on the 59-year-old man is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Fire officials say quick action by firefighters and Lakeland police helped keep the number of deaths and injuries low.

Officials say Bella Vista Manor is an independent living facility.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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