Official: Fire that killed Chatham mayor's wife caused by discarded cigarettes


CHATHAM, Va. (WSET) -- The Pittsylvania County Public Safety Coordinator, Chris Slemp, has confirmed that the fire that left the town mayor's wife dead was accidental.

Slemp said the fire that killed Lois Byrd on January 11 was caused by improperly discarded cigarettes that ignited a couch in their finished basement on Davis Road.

Mayor Roy Byrd, Jr. was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville. His family confirms he is now out of the hospital and recovering.

Slemp said Mrs. Bryd died from smoke inhalation.

Slemp didn't say how much damage the fire caused to the home, but that the fire was contained to the basement where Mrs. Byrd was found dead.

He said that Mayor Byrd tried to save his wife, but was unable to and was taken to the hospital.

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