The man who died in a house fire Wednesday morning was smoking in bed, officials with the Austin Fire Department said.
The man, believed to be about age 60, was found dead in his home in the 1700 block of Mearns Meadow Boulevard in North Austin. The victim, who suffered from a physical disability, was discovered by his caregiver who called AFD.
When firefighters arrived, the fire was already extinguished and there was a large amount of smoke trapped in the home. The caregiver told responders the man had started a fire smoking in bed about five weeks earlier, and suffered first, second and third degree burns.
The victim’s official cause of death is smoke inhalation. This is Austin’s second fatal fire of 2013. According to AFD, about 7 percent of the fires they respond to are caused by smoking.