An Improperly discarded cigarette appears to be the cause of a fire that claimed the life of a Tuckerton man late Tuesday Morning. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said 74-year-old Andrew Koralja was the lone resident of the apartment at the Village on the Green Apartment complex.

Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said first responders arrived at apartment #331 at 10:48 am and Tuckerton Police attempted to force their way into the residence prior to the arrival of the Tuckerton Fire Department but were met with heavy smoke and flames inside.

In a press release, Coronato said members of the Tuckerton Fire Department arrived on the scene and were able to remove the victim from the apartment. Koralja was pronounced dead at the Southern Ocean Medical Center.

"Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit, the Tuckerton Police Department, in conjunction with members of members of the Ocean County Fire Marshals Office, the Ocean County Sheriff's Department CIU and the New Jersey State Fire Marshall's Office ruled the fire as accidental and was caused by a discarded cigarette.

The Tuckerton Fire Department, West Tuckerton Fire Department, Eagleswood Fire Department and Mystic Islands Fire Department responded to put out the blaze.