Dropped cigarette sparks fire that kills southern Indiana man

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SANTA CLAUS (April 18, 2014) – A 65-year-old man died after his wife dropped a cigarette, sparking a fire that destroyed their Spencer County home.

Around 6:30 a.m. local time Friday, dispatchers were alerted to a house fire at 911 S. Snowball Ln. in Christmas Lake Village. Firefighters from the Santa Claus and Carter Township fire departments arrived to find the home completely engulfed.

Investigators said the fire started in the living room. Maureen Gregory, 66, told investigators she dropped a cigarette but couldn’t pick it up before the fire started. Her husband, Bryan Gregory, 65, tried to leave the home but passed out from smoke inhalation.

Mrs. Gregory was airlifted to a Louisville-area hospital in stable condition. She suffered smoke inhalation and first-degree burns.

The fire was ruled accidental.