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Cigarette To Blame For Lehigh County Woman’s Death In Valentine’s Day Fire

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HOKENDAUQUA, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a cigarette started a fire that killed a woman on Valentine’s Day.

Officials in Lehigh County say the blaze started in a Whitehall Township home just after 4 a.m. on Feb. 14.

Township fire officials said 56-year-old Tina Groller initially made it out of the home along with her husband and their son.

But officials said she later went back inside to look for her cat. She was found in the second-floor hallway and died nine hours later.

Fire Chief Robert Benner said Tuesday that a cigarette set fire to a mattress. Officials earlier ruled the blaze accidental.

Officials initially said the cat was missing, but Benner told The (Allentown) Morning Call that the animal was later found dead of smoke inhalation in a closet.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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