Careless smoking may be to blame for fatal Middletown fire

MIDDLETOWN - Four people were killed this morning after a six-alarm fire tore through a Middletown home.

The flames broke out just before 3 a.m. at 135 Statesir Place in the Fairview section of Middletown as everyone in the home slept. Officials at the Monmouth County prosecutor's office say a cigarette or match placed into a metal wastepaper basket may have started the deadly fire.

One of the residents, Stephan Banovich, was able to escape. Banovich's sister-in-law followed him outside, but went back inside for a pet and died. His wife, Sheridan "Sheri" Banovich, 63, was killed along with their daughter, 23-year-old Diedre Banovich. The daughter's live-in boyfriend, Anthony Cadalzo, 24, also died.

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