Fire officials say smoking in bed caused fatal Reading fire | Berks Regional News

READING, Pa. – The Reading fire marshal’s office said smoking in bed caused a December fire that claimed the life of a Reading man.

Fire crews were dispatched to a home in the 200 block of N. Kenhorst Boulevard on December 15 after a neighbor reported seeing heavy smoke from the residence.

Inside, they found the body of 58-year-old Scot Bataller in a first floor bedroom.

Fire officials said Bataller was not able to evacuate due to a preexisting medical condition that affected his mobility.

Fire Marshal Jeremy Searfoss said the fire has been ruled accidental and was caused by smoking materials igniting nearby bedding.

The damage from the fire is estimated at $30,000.

Searfoss urged safety and reiterated that smoking in bed is dangerous. If smoking, people should use noncombustible smoking receptacles and smoke in a fire safe area.

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