CULVER – Smoking while an oxygen tank was on is believed to be the reason a fire erupted at a home outside of Culver Friday afternoon, killing a man.

Marshall County Coroner John Grolich said early Saturday that first responders pronounced Allen E. Jones, 67, dead at the home southwest of Culver.

Grolich said the Culver Fire Department and EMS was called to the home on 19B Road shortly after 3 p.m. Friday.

The coroner said Jones died of severe thermal burns and likely carbon monoxide poisoning. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

Grolich said in a news release that Jones was smoking in his hospital bed inside the home while an oxygen tank was on, which is suspected of causing the blaze.

While no one else was apparently injured in the fire, family pets were killed.

Culver firefighters managed to get the fire quickly under control. They stayed at the scene for several hours to assist the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office to determine the cause and origin of the fire. The exact cause remains under investigation, Grolich said.

Along with Culver firefighters, EMS, fire marshal’s office, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and NIPSCO assisted the coroner’s office at the scene.

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