Smoking materials are being blamed for a house fire that ultimately claimed the life of a 69-year-old man.
Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts fire marshal's office, says it appears Thursday's fire in the Florence section of Northampton started between two recliners in a den. She says there was "ample evidence'' of smoking in that area. Other causes for the blaze have been ruled out.
State and local fire investigators also found there were two battery-operated smoke detectors in the home that didn't have batteries and therefore weren't working.
The man was pulled from the fire by Northampton firefighters early Thursday morning and taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries. The man's name will be released once he's been formally identified by the medical examiner's office.