Smoking in bed caused fatal Paintsville fire

A disabled man died about 4 a.m. Tuesday at his home in Paintsville apparently after smoking in bed.

Johnson County Coroner J.R. Frisby said Mark Joseph Girard, 59, was found in a bedroom at the back of the house at 1132 State Street, and that was where the fire appeared to have started.

Frisby said Girard had been in a wheelchair since age 18 because of a car accident in New York, where he lived at the time. He moved to Kentucky several years ago.

Girard had relatives in Paintsville, and they checked on him every day, helping him to bed at night. They last checked on him at 9 p.m. Monday, Frisby said.

Frisby said smoke inhalation might have killed Girard, but the cause won't be verified until an autopsy is done.

The house was a total loss, Frisby said.