Deadly duplex fire caused by careless smoking, officials say

WICHITA — Careless smoking caused the fire that killed a 68-year-old woman at her duplex in northeast Wichita last week, authorities said.

Carey Paul was found lying just inside the front door of her duplex by firefighters responding to the blaze in the 2000 block of North Ridgewood shortly after 2 a.m. on April 26, Wichita Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said.

Firefighters encountered fire in the living room of the duplex before discovering Paul. She was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead shortly before 3:45 a.m.

Investigators are awaiting a preliminary autopsy report, he said.

The fire caused an estimated $30,000 damage to the duplex and its contents, Bevis has said.