- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Fire officials say carelessly discarded smoking materials caused a fatal blaze at a high-rise apartment building in Grand Island.

An automatic alarm that activated at 1:10 p.m. Saturday alerted the fire department to the blaze at the 11-story Centennial Towers apartments.

Fire Division Chief Tim Hiemer says the fire broke out in an apartment on the south end of the ninth floor. Hall County Attorney Jack Zitterkopf identified the occupant as 56-year-old James Curfman, who was taken to a Lincoln hospital for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation.

A woman who lived down a hall fell to her death. She was identified as 63-year-old Sarah Nyayual Both, who had come to the United States from Sudan.

Hiemer says the building’s concrete block walls kept flames from reaching other apartments.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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