SANFORD — Investigators say an overheated fluorescent light ignited a fire in a Sanford man’s laundry room and when he opened the door to the room, he was overcome by smoke.

Armand Talbot, 74, had just returned from a town meeting at 9 p.m. when he discovered the fire in his small, converted camp on Armand Lane, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Talbot asked a neighbor to call the fire department then went inside, probably to try to extinguish the fire, said Assistant State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas. Investigators say he opened the door to the laundry room and was overcome, Thomas said.

“We surmise he opened that door to the laundry and took everything straight on,” Thomas said. “By opening that door, he would have created a natural vent out into the room he was in. You’re giving (the fire) everything it wants to intensify.”

The state medical examiner determined the cause of death was smoke inhalation, he said.

9 a.m.

SANFORD — Authorities say a 74-year-old man was likely overcome by smoke when he went into his burning home in Sanford Tuesday night in an attempt to put out the fire. 

Armand Talbot discovered the fire at about 9 p.m. after returning from a town meeting, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland. He asked a neighbor to call the fire department then entered the house. 

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office say the fire started in the laundry room and they plan to return to the scene today to determine the cause. The fire gutted the small house on Armand Lane.