Cigarette caused fire that killed Potsdam man today, investigators say
Friday, November 5, 2010 - 12:46 pm

POTSDAM – A cigarette on a couch was the cause of a fire that killed a man in his house on Rt. 72 this morning, investigators say.

Everett Halford, 88,.died in a fire this morning at 90 St. Rt. 72 that was reported to emergency personnel at 6:32 a.m. today. Coroner June Wood declared him dead at the scene. The St. Lawrence County Fire Investigation Team looked into the cause of the blaze, and declared it an accident.

Halford was apparently alone in the house at the time. Investigators say they found him in a rear bedroom.

Fire departments from Potsdam, Parishville, Canton, Hannawa Falls, Norwood and West Stockholm succeeded in limiting the damage to the structure. The damage is described as extensive, but investigators say the structure is sound, with a lot of heat and smoke damage.

Parishville and Potsdam rescue units were on the scene.

Investigators said the cause of the fire was “improperly discarded smoking materials; cigarette on the couch in the living room.”

No rescue personnel or firefighters were injured.