Woman, 39, dies in house fire started by discarded cigarette

She was the only person in the home on W Street Southwest in Tumwater; damage set at $100,000

Staff writersNovember 14, 2013 

A 39-year-old woman died during a house fire in Tumwater that was reported just after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Tumwater Assistant Chief Jim McGarva said Wednesday that the woman was found in a bedroom inside the home at 302 W St. SW. She was the only occupant. The fire was reported by neighbors who saw smoke and flames, he added.

The woman was identified as Michelle M. Sasticum, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said. Her cause of death was asphyxia due to inhalation of combustible materials, he added.

A preliminary investigation showed that the fire might have started in a bedroom, but not the one where Sasticum was found, McGarva said. The fire’s cause was an improperly discarded cigarette on or near the bed, he said in a news release.

McGarva credited the “robust response” by fire crews with putting out the blaze quickly.

According to a news release:

The first crews to arrive entered the structure after confirming an active fire and found an adult woman.

They moved the woman to a medical unit, where she was pronounced dead.

A total of 30 firefighters helped put out the fire; none of them were injured. Units from Olympia, East Olympia Fire District 6 and McLane-Black Lake Fire District 9 also responded.

Damage was estimated at $100,000.

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