2 Kennewick fire deaths linked to smoking

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KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) -- Investigators say two fatal fires in Kennewick were apparently started by careless cigarette smoking.

Fire Marshal Mark Yaden was able to conclude Thursday that a Jan. 23 blaze at a mobile home was likely caused by a cigarette left smoldering on a couch.

The fire killed 65-year-old Elvira "Elvie" Pidcock. Her 49-year-old daughter, Aireen Upton, escaped out a bedroom window and spent several weeks at a Seattle hospital being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

The Tri-City Herald reports (http://is.gd/1mWX0Y ) Yaden also determine a Feb. 5 fire at Cedars Inn started when Connie Vanarendonk reportedly dropped a cigarette on the bed. The 71-year-old Yakima woman died last week at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com