A 63-year-old man who died in a Murray Hill apartment fire has been identified as Richard Winckler.
Early last Friday morning, 60 firefighters responded to a 911 call for a fire in the basement of a four-story building at 43-06 159 St. in the Flushing neighborhood.
It took about 30 minutes for firefighters to control the fire where Winckler was found, the FDNY said. He was taken to the New York Hospital Queens, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal injuries to the head and lower extremities.
The death was ruled accidental and the fire marshal determined that a cigarette had started the fire.
According to a fire safety guide by the FDNY, smokers are seven times more likely than nonsmokers to have a fire in their home.
The guide advises smokers to purchase additional photoelectric smoke alarms, considered the most reliable for smoldering type fires.
— Stephanie E. Santana