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Fire kills 70-year-old Shallotte man

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- A 70-year-old man is dead after a house fire in Shallotte. The fire started in the bedroom of John Lynch Jr.'s house off Central Avenue sometime around eight o'clock Sunday morning. A neighbor saw the smoke and called 911. By the time fire crews arrived on scene, Lynch had suffered severe smoke inhalation and died on the way to the hospital. Investigators say the cause of the fire was an improperly discarded cigarette. Lynch's death marks the 14th fatality in Brunswick County due to a fire in the past two and a half months. Investigators say cigarettes or a lack of working smoke detectors have been to blame for each of the six fatal fires in the county in the past few months. Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner said, "In all of the fires, except one, the Ocean Isle fire, nobody could report that the smoke detectors were operating." Checking a detector's functionality is a simple process of pressing a test button. If there is any doubt, replace it. Fire investigators say one common mistake homeowners make is disconnecting a smoke detector that is going off when someone is cooking and forgetting to put the battery back in. "Some of the newer detectors you buy have a silencer where you can press a button and silence it for a time period like if you were cooking, then after ten minutes or so it would go back to operating normally," Garner said. In many other cases, about 50 percent of all fatal fires, cigarettes are to blame. Investigators say even if you use an ashtray, you are still in danger. "A longer cigarette may cause you to balance that cigarette on the ashtray, at which time once it burns to a certain point it's going to tip," Garner said. Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Randy Thompson said, "If you're going to smoke and you're going to smoke inside, make sure you use a deeper ashtray." According to the North Carolina General Assembly, between 700 and 900 people die each year from cigarette fires. Brunswick County emergency personnel are working hard to stop these fires from happening.

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This belongs in the

This belongs in the Brunswick County news section.

A new cigarette that

A new cigarette that extinguishes itself will be law in N.C. but not until 2010. I think that law should go into effect immediately to save lives. A couple of kids died on four wheelers and all kinds of laws were put in place to ban kids from riding four wheelers. How many thousand more people must die before cigarettes are put out forever?

cigarette ban

some stupid people are gonna need to die. HOw many laws do we need to protect us from ourselves? Restricting every move we make reminds me of nazi germany or china. if someone is stupid enough to burn himself and his friends up then he doesnt need to live to breed cause before long we will be surrounded by idiots. you ever seen idiocracy the movie?

European Smokes

In Europe the cigarettes are self extinghishing so are the American Spirit cigarettes. The big tobacco companies want the cigarette to burn so youhave to pull another smoke from the pack. Its all about money... and lung cancer

Really. Kids still do

Kids still are getting killed on 4-wheelers. You can make all the laws you want, they can never replace common sense. Why is it that "liberals" like you want to take all the freedoms away from everyone else that are not just like you? You have issues, I hope I don't live near your HOA.

Hey ----. I did not like

Hey ----. I did not like the laws against four wheelers at all. I am not liberal but I am common sense and I have seen cigarettes kill my grandmother, mother in law, three aunts, five uncles, 7 kids in Ocean Isle Beach, etc. If laws are passed so easily against four wheelers, then why don't politicians have the guts to pass laws on real things that kill people. Those are my issues and I think they are better than any other issues out there.

KB - Hey I did not like

Kb, I find it interesting that cigaretts killed your grandmother, motherinlaw, three aunts, five uncles and 7 kids in OIB. Please explain to me exactly what the cigarette did? did it grab them and hold their head under water? did it shoot them? did it strangle them? no, it did nothing. What killed your relatives and the 7 kids in OIB (God rest their souls) was their own fault. If you decide to smoke, then you must take responsibility for your actions. You stated that you have common sense, then you know that I am telling you the truth. I hate smoking, it's gross. But the bottom line is people who smoke, choose to smoke. It's called freedom and whoever said on here that the liberals would like to take it away is exactly right. People need to learn to make better choices, not have choices made for them

I think what I am trying to

I think what I am trying to say is that the laws being made now are almost meaningless and only apply to a few people so that they only offend a few people. I was trying to say that the politicians should address the cigarette that extinguishes itself now and put it into law now to save lives. The 7 kids who died in Ocean Isle were killed by a cigarette left out that caught something on fire. That was not their choice. For the record, my grandmother died of lung cancer caused by second hand smoke-she never smoked. My mother in law smoked and she died from smoking and that was her choice and she should have made a better choice as you said. Hope this clears up stuff and I do not like stupid laws either. Half of the laws need to go but then what would politicians do in office?

Like I said...

They can make all the laws they want, they will never replace common sense. In a twisted Darwinian sort of way, I really hope you don't smoke. Your odds don't look that good if you do. Then again, you might want to stay off 4-wheelers as well.