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Careless smoking blamed for deadly Wichita blaze

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Wichita fire officials say careless smoking caused a blaze that killed four people last week.

Capt. Stuart Bevis said Wednesday that the Nov. 26 fire started in an upholstered chair in the living room of a double-wide mobile home. Several adults had smoked in that area beforehand. Bevis says a combination of wood paneling and combustible ceiling tiles contributed to the blaze spreading rapidly.

The fire killed 21-year-old Amanda Nichols; her 1-year-old son, Isaaca; 27-year-old Camaron McGowan, and his 2-year-old son, K'dyn McGowan.

The home's smoke alarms apparently weren't working. And Bevis said it was fortunate that three other people in the mobile home managed to escape with their lives. Those three, a firefighter and a neighbor who helped sustained minor injuries.