Chattanooga: Woman falls asleep with lit cigarette, burned over 60% of her body

Chattanooga: Woman falls asleep with lit cigarette, burned over 60% of her body

July 29th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

A Chattanooga woman who may have been smoking in bed was sent to the hospital Thursday night with severe burns after her bed caught fire, authorities say.

Edy Baker, 60, fell asleep in the bed while smoking, apparently lighting a fire on her mattress that spread to the rest of the room, according to Bruce Garner, spokesman for the Chattanooga Fire Department.

With burns over 60 percent of her body, she was sent to Erlanger hospital then flown early this morning to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga.

A little before midnight, firefighters were sent to the home at 3024 Westside Drive. There was light smoke inside the house when firefighters entered, Garner said.

The homeowner, Davie Cayce, told firefighters the fire was in a bedroom but he had put it out using two portable fire extinguishers. But the firefighters noticed flames still visible and used a hose to keep the fire contained to the bedroom.

Cayce told firefighters that his friend, Baker, had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette.

Capt. Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division said the physical evidence supports the claim that Baker's cigarette started the fire when she fell asleep in bed. The cause of the fire will be ruled accidental, Garner said.