Smoking in bed blamed for May 1 fire at 364 Ashley Avenue

A pile of burned wood sits outside a house at 364 Ashley Ave., which is across from Allan Park in downtown Charleston, after a blaze gutted the home early Tuesday morning.

Investigators have determined that a fire that gutted a home at 364 Ashley Avenue was caused by smoking in bed.

Five people inside the home escaped unharmed from the blaze that was reported about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.

A firefighter suffered a minor back injury when debris fell on him while he was working inside the home after the fire had been knocked down.

Careless smoking by one of the occupants was found to be the cause of the fire, Charleston Fire Department spokesman Mark Ruppel said Thursday. He said no further investigation is planned, and no charges were contemplated.

Residents in the home were sleeping when one of them smelled smoke. They got out “just in time,” according to a neighbor, who did not give his name.

The American Red Cross provided the displaced occupants with housing and financial assistance, according to Nancy Olson, a spokeswoman for the Lowcountry chapter.