- Associated Press - Friday, July 10, 2015

LULING, La. (AP) - Authorities say a St. Charles Parish man was killed in a house fire that they believe may have been started because he was smoking in bed.

Multiple media outlets report that State Fire Marshal Deputy Chief Brant Thompson says 62-year-old George Welch died in the fire at his Luling home on Wednesday.

His wife, Debra Welch, told investigators that she tried to extinguish a fire she found burning on a bed mattress before trying to move her unresponsive husband who was lying on the bed. Investigators say she left the house as the fire became more intense.

Thompson says burn patterns and the presence of an ashtray near where the fire began indicate that it may have started from George Welch’s smoking in bed. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

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