WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The improper disposal of a cigarette caused a fire that killed a recent UNCW graduate early Saturday morning, according to the Wilmington Fire Department.
23-year-old Rory Michaelson died in the fire the broke out at Cypress Pointe Apartments on New Centre Drive.
According to the fire department, firefighters battled the flames for three hours before it was extinguished.
Authorities said the fire quickly spread to the attic, disabling all of the smoke detectors in the building. The unit was built in 1985 and didn't have sprinklers or battery powered smoke detectors.
Many people at the complex say they found out about the fire because others banged on their doors and helped get them out before it was too late.
Four other people were injured in the fire. Three have been released from the hospital, but Michaelson's boyfriend, Cory Benoit remains in critical condition at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held on UNCW's campus Thursday for family, students, faculty and staff. It will be held at 5:00 p.m. in the Warwick Center.