The cause of a fire that took the life of a Schuylkill County man was smoking, according to state police at Frackville.

Troopers said their investigation of the fire that occurred at 1800 Center St., Ashland, on Thursday, Sept. 9, about 9:13 a.m. determined the fire originated in the living room of the first floor apartment which was occupied by the victim, John P. Feeney, 69. Feeney died in the blaze and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire caused an estimated $75,000 in damages. Ashland police and fire officials assisted in the investigation, troopers said.