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 A 67-year-old man died in a fire at this home on Princeton Street Jan. 29.

A 67-year-old man died in a fire at this home on Princeton Street Jan. 29.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

Official: Cigarette likely cause of fatal house fire in St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 29, 2020


A 67-year-old man has died as a result of a house fire in the 27000 block of Princeton Street Jan. 29.

St. Clair Shores police report that they and the Fire Department responded to a call from Princeton Street south of 11 Mile Road around 2:45 a.m. Jan. 29 after neighbors witnessed smoke billowing from the home.

“When our crews got there, they did have a decent amount of smoke and fire visible,” said St. Clair Shores Fire Chief James Piper. 

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire quickly, but found a 67-year-old man, believed to be the homeowner, deceased in the living room.

Police Chief Todd Woodcox said that the fire appears to have started from a cigarette, but the investigation is ongoing.

“It looks to be accidental,” Piper confirmed. “Most likely discarded smoking materials, and it appears to have started in the living room.”

Piper said that at least one smoke detector was working in the one-story home and it appears that the man lived in the house by himself. 

Authorities are not releasing the man’s name until his identity can be confirmed and relatives notified. 

Piper said it is unclear at this point when the fire began, but that it most likely had been burning for some time before the neighbors noticed and called for help.

“Based on what we found when we got there, the majority of the house already had fire and smoke damage,” Piper said. “(It was) probably going for awhile before anyone noticed there was a fire.”

No firefighters were injured in the incident and there didn’t appear to be any animals in the home, Piper said.