A fire caused by a cigarette resulted in the death Tuesday night of a man in a camper parked at an auto repair shop lot, according to Fire Department spokeswoman Ida Cheney.
Deputy Coroner Charles Kelley said the victim may be Gene Davis, 62, owner of Gene's Auto Repair on 25th Street near Imperial Avenue. Davis lived in the camper on the lot. However, Kelley said the victim was badly burned and a positive identification could not immediately be made.
Roy Keller, 73, suffered burns while trying to rescue the victim. He was taken to Physicians and Surgeons Hospital and later transferred to UCSD Medical Center where he was reported in fair condition.
Firefighters found the trailer engulfed in flames when they arrived shortly after 10:19 p.m. It took them 45 minutes to put out the blaze which caused an estimated $5,000 damage. Cheny said the fire was caused by a cigarette which ignited a mattress.