A man in his 50s died overnight after a large fire at a condominium in Port St. Lucie.
The St. Lucie County Fire District said the blaze occurred around 3:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of Green Acres Circle.
The district said flames were shooting through the roof when they arrived.
Fire Chief Mike Merritt said firefighters went into the unit to extinguish the fire and found a deceased man in a bedroom.
Merritt said the victim's elderly mother, Dolores Donohue, 74, escaped the fire, but her adult son died.
He was identified as Kevin Donohue, 55.
Some adjoining units had water damage, but crews were able to contain the flames in the apartment where the fire started.
Cigarette Possible Cause of Fire
“He was possibly smoking in bed due to the damage that was caused by the fire. That’s our analysis. We are awaiting on scientific samples we sent out to the state,” explained Fire Inspector Edward Hill from the St. Lucie County Fire District.
It was Port St. Lucie police who noticed flames in the condo, which is a total loss, and called the fire department.
A cat died in the fire, but Dolores Donohue was able to rescue her dog, according to Hill.
Hill advises never to smoke in bed and stressed the importance of smoke detectors. He provided a few tips on preventing fires.
“Pay attention to your smoking materials, have a designated spot in your home to smoke. Or if you do smoke, do it on the porch,” Hill said.
— Charlie Keegan (@CKeeganWPTV) January 19, 2017