South Kitsap woman dies from smoke inhalation

Elderly woman apparently succumbs from smoldering cigarette in chair

PORT ORCHARD — A South Kitsap woman was reported by Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office to have died this morning from smoke inhalation in her residence at the 3800 block of Locker Road Southeast.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Wilson said the woman, believed to be in her 70s, was found by a relative who had gone to the residence to check on her welfare. The deceased woman was discovered face-down with her favorite reclining chair smoldering and the house filled with smoke.

Wilson said the woman was known to have been a heavy smoker. The male relative who had a key to the home entered the residence and attempted to pull her out of the smoke-filled living room, but she was too heavy to extract from the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies, who were first to arrive, also attempted to move her out of the house. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by South Kitsap Fire and Rescue responders who arrived a little later.

“We have a sheriff’s detective working with the fire marshal on the scene as part of a death investigation, which is mandatory in that situation,” Wilson said.

He said there was nothing to indicate the woman’s death was caused by suspicious circumstances. Wilson said it is believed she died after inhaling smoke generated by a small fire in the chair caused by a dropped cigarette when she fell asleep.

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