A discarded, lit cigarette was the likely cause of a fire that killed a 56-year-old grandmother in Takoma Park early Monday morning, fire officials say.
Montgomery County Fire says that 56-year-old Charlotte Wilson died in the fire, which broke out at about 2:15 Monday morning at the Park Ritchie apartments at 7600 Maple Avenue.
Fire officials say that when Wilson was apparently smoking in bed when the cigarette fell or was thrown into an area with clothing and towels, which then began to smolder.
There was no sign of smoke or fire when firefighters first arrived; rather, her granddaughter was putting cold, wet towels on Wilson while she was laying near a bathtub.
She was transported to a burn center for burns on her body, but died later from her injuries at the hospital.
Montgomery County Fire says that the cigarette which apparently sparked the fire was legal under Maryland's Safe Cigarette Law, which mandates that all cigarettes are able to extinguish themselves. However, they caution that not all cigarettes are fire proof.