Des Plaines woman, 54, dies in fire started by smoking materials

  • Authorities investigate a fatal blaze Thursday in the 400 block of Woods Road in Des Plaines.

      Authorities investigate a fatal blaze Thursday in the 400 block of Woods Road in Des Plaines. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • A 54-year-old woman was found dead Thursday morning by firefighters responding to a blaze in the 400 block of Woods Road on Des Plaines' east side. Investigators later determined the fire was caused by careless use of smoking materials.

      A 54-year-old woman was found dead Thursday morning by firefighters responding to a blaze in the 400 block of Woods Road on Des Plaines' east side. Investigators later determined the fire was caused by careless use of smoking materials. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • A 54-year-old woman was found dead Thursday morning by firefighters responding to a residential fire in the 400 block of Woods Road on Des Plaines' east side. Investigators later determined the fire was caused by careless use of smoking materials.

      A 54-year-old woman was found dead Thursday morning by firefighters responding to a residential fire in the 400 block of Woods Road on Des Plaines' east side. Investigators later determined the fire was caused by careless use of smoking materials. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/16/2015 12:34 PM

A 54-year-old woman was found dead Thursday morning inside a smoke-filled house in Des Plaines, authorities said.

Des Plaines Fire Department officials say Diane Miner was discovered about 9 a.m. by firefighters entering the burning house on the 400 block of Woods Road, on the city's east side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A pet cat also was killed in the fire.

The cause of the fire was later determined to be the careless use of smoking materials, in this case, cigarettes, said Fire Chief Alan Wax.

First responding crews from the North Maine Fire Protection District reported that the house fire was "well-involved" when they arrived, Wax said.

The fire is believed to have started in the front room of the two-story home's first floor, and spread to the second floor and through some walls. It took firefighters some 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze, Wax said.

Fire damages were extensive in the front half of the house, and smoke damage was present throughout. Total damages are estimated at $150,000, and the home was deemed uninhabitable, he said.

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One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was treated on scene.

An autopsy on the victim is scheduled for Friday.

Fire departments from Arlington Heights, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Northbrook, Niles, Prospect Heights, Rosemont and Wheeling also assisted in the response or helped cover Des Plaines fire stations during the fire.

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