SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Fire investigators are working to determine what caused a fire in a Spokane Valley apartment. During the course of their work to put out the fire, an elderly man was found dead in a recliner. The fire broke out just after 3:00 Wednesday morning at an apartment in the 10000 block of East Main.
Fire officials say the dead man was in his 80's, was a smoker, and was on oxygen. Fire Battalion Chief Stan Cooke, says smokers who also use oxygen are taking a big risk, as oxygen is flammable. It's not clear right now if either the smoking or the oxygen caused or contributed to the fire.
Battalion Chief Cooke says they don't even know right now if the elderly man was killed by the fire, or died before the fire. The fire was called in by a passerby on a bicycle. Fire crews say no one heard any kind of smoke alarm. They are looking into whether the apartment had a working smoke detector.
No one else was injured in the fire, and no one else living in the apartment complex was displaced because crews were able to contain the fire to the single unit.