EL PASO — El Paso fire investigators have determined that careless smoking is the cause of an overnight house fire in Central El Paso.
The fire started in the back apartment of a home on Mountain Ave. shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday.
The home was reportedly fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
According to Battalion Chief Ed Snyder, the couple was smoking in bed when their sheets caught on fire. He said they tried to put out the fire before finally calling for help.
"She made note that she had been smoking, and that she knew that it was on fire. As we all know, smoking in bed, as she said she was, is very hazardous. The other occupant stated that he used a garden hose to put the fire out."
Damages to the apartment are estimated at about $40,000, and the home is considered a total loss.
The El Paso Chapter of the Red Cross is helping the couple with living arrangements.
No one was injured.
The couple reported that they have not been able to find their dog. Snyder said firefighters did not find the pet inside the home, and believe he might have run away when the fire started.