This page, Falmouth Fatal Fire Electrical, is offered by
Press Release

Press Release Falmouth Fatal Fire Electrical

No Working Smoke Alarms
For immediate release:
  • Department of Fire Services

Media Contact for Falmouth Fatal Fire Electrical

Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer

DFS Logo

FALMOUTHFalmouth Fire Chief Michael Small, Falmouth Police Chief Edward A. Dunne and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the cause of the April 12, 2020 fire at 663 Gifford Street in Falmouth, was electrical. The fire claimed the life of 67-year old Mary Jo Nelson who lived in the single-family home. The fire was reported at 5:15 p.m.

The fire started in a first floor bedroom and investigators determined an electrical malfunction started the fire. All other possible causes were ruled out.

There were no working smoke alarms found in the home. Chief Small said, “The only smoke alarm we found was a non-functioning one resting on top of an oil tank in the basement. Falmouth had two fatal fires in April that took the lives of two older adults. Our hearts go out to both families. We ask every resident to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home.”

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “All of us who have older relatives should ask to check their smoke alarms twice a year. Make sure they have fresh batteries if they need them, and replace them before they expire after ten years.” Smoke alarms have a date of manufacture on the back. If they do not, it means they are already more than ten years old.

Falmouth Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of the Cape and Islands District Attorney jointly investigated the fire. Assistance was received from the Department of Fire Services’ Code Compliance Unit.


Media Contact for Falmouth Fatal Fire Electrical

Department of Fire Services 

The Department of Fire Services helps keep communities safe. We provide firefighter training, public education, fire prevention, code enforcement, licensing, fire investigation, hazardous material response, and emergency response.