Cigarette sparks Griffin house fire, killing mother, son

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A six-year-old boy seriously injured after a cigarette sparked a fire in his Spaulding County home, killing his mother, has died.

Zachary Shavers Tobias Sevenstar died at 12:10 p.m. Sunday, said Glenn Allen, spokesman for the state insurance commissioner's office.

The fire was discovered around 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the home on East McIntosh Road. Firefighters tackled the blaze for some time, investigators said, due to flames shooting out from the rubber and metal roof.

The child's mother, 44-year-old Christie Lewis, was discovered lifeless inside the home. Firefighters were able to rescue her son and perform CPR on the boy; the child was taken for his injuries to the Burn Center in Augusta, where he later died.

A spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal said the cause of the blaze was determined to be a cigarette tossed into a trash can in the kitchen area of the home.

"I just can't believe this has happened. We are all taking it really hard... she was loved by a lot of people, and ministered to a lot of people," said Dianne Miller, a family friend who was one of the numerous people coming to check on the family following the tragedy.

Family and friends said Lewis is survived by her husband and two other children.

Fire investigators said the ordeal is a sad reminder of how people should properly dispose of cigarettes after use:

  • Smoke outside, and extinguish cigarettes in water and sand.
  • Soak all cigarettes and ashes in water before discarding them.
  • Never smoke when tired or sleepy, or after use of any drugs, medications or alcohol.
  • Never smoke inside a home where oxygen is used.