For Immediate Release - April 30, 2013

Smoking Cause of Fatal Newton Fire

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Newton Fire Chief Bruce Proia said the cause of last Friday’s fire at 30-32 Rowe Street in Newton is believed to be smoking. Chief Proia said, “Sadly, this fire took the life of elderly woman who investigators believe was smoking on the porch.” The fire started on the porch where it was largely confined.

The Medical Examiner’s Office will be making the formal identification of the victim and determining the cause and manner of death. The fire was jointly investigated by the Newton Fire and Police Departments, State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

Coan said, “This was a terrible weekend for fatal fires with one in Boston and Newton bringing the total fire and explosion deaths in 2013 to 22.” He added, “While smoking fires and related deaths are declining in Massachusetts, smoking caused 14% of home fire deaths in 2012.”