For Immediate Release - April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013 Gloucester Fatal Fire Accidental

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Gloucester Fire Chief Eric Smith said that last night’s fire at 36 Summer Street was accidental. The cause is combustibles coming in contact with a lamp. The fire started in a second floor bedroom and took the life 15-year old Victoria McCabe Schmelzer who was in an adjacent bedroom.

Coan said, “This tragedy occurred despite the heroic efforts of the Gloucester firefighters who were able to rescue and revive her.”

Chief Smith said, “I would take this opportunity to remind everyone how important it is to have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home and a practiced home escape plan.”

The fire was jointly investigated by the Gloucester Fire Department, Gloucester Police Department, State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Essex District Attorney’s Office. Assistance was received from the Code Compliance Unit in the Office of the State Fire Marshal.