Belfast woman, 81, dies after nightgown catches fire from cigarette

Posted Oct. 20, 2010, at 2:06 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — An elderly Belfast woman died Tuesday night after her nightgown caught fire at her home, according to the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Carol Howard, 81, died from burns after being taken to the Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland said in a press release issued Wednesday.

Howard, who was a smoker, lived alone in a mobile home at 62 Rolerson Road. A relative checking on her Tuesday evening found her collapsed in a hallway, McCausland said.

Fire investigators think she caught her nightgown on fire while smoking in a chair sometime earlier that day. There was little damage sustained to the mobile home, McCausland said in the release.

It was the second fire death in the past week of an elderly woman in Maine, according to the release. An 86-year-old woman died in a house fire Saturday night in the Lincoln County town of Somerville. The cause of that fire was not determined.