Fatal fire blamed on cigarette

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SAN DIEGO — A cigarette sparked a predawn blaze that killed a man in his City Heights apartment Wednesday, fire officials said.

The blaze in the 4200 block of Wightman Street erupted shortly before 4:30 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Neighbors said they heard a man screaming for help inside the apartment before fire crews arrived.

Crews dousing the flames found the victim’s body inside the burning second-floor unit, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

The man, believed to have been in his mid-50s, apparently had been unable to escape because the spreading fire blocked his front door. His name was withheld pending family notification.

No other injuries were reported, Luque said.

Investigators set the monetary losses at $250,000 to the structure and $5,000 to contents.

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