Cause of fatal NYC fire was smoking, ruled accidental



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NEW YORK (AP) — Fire officials say the Christmas Day high rise blaze in New York that killed a 76-year-old man in his apartment was accidental and was caused by smoking.

Authorities say John Doktor was found unresponsive in his bedroom by emergency responders Monday morning.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the wind-whipped fire on the 35th floor of a 36-story building on 56th Street near Seventh Avenue.

Fire Department spokesman Michael Parrella says firefighters were hampered by high winds and malfunctioning elevators.

Parrella says the fire was contained to one apartment, where Doktor was found. Officials said it was started by a careless discarding of smoking material.

Two firefighters were also injured.

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The Associated Press

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