- Department of Fire Services
Media Contact for Improper Disposal of Smoking Materials Cause of Haverhill Fire
Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer
HAVERHILL — State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien and Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro announced the cause of the March 22, 2021 fire at 38 Jackson Street was the improper disposal of smoking materials. The 4-unit home is a total loss.
The fire started on the roof of the house that extended out below the third floor. Investigators believe that a smoker tossed cigarettes out a third floor window igniting the roof or debris in the gutter along this portion of the roof or in a gap between the gutter and the exterior of the building.
Chief O’Brien said, “It is important to dispose of smoking materials safely, in an ashtray, or a can with sand or water. Especially at this time of year, winds can quickly fan cigarettes back to life in dried grass, leaves or mulch. Remember to put it out. All the way. Every time.”
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “There have been so many terrible fires in the past two weeks from smoking materials that have left many people homeless.” The state Department of Fire Services has a public awareness campaign on preventing fires from the improper disposal of smoking materials. For more information visit: www.mass.gov/smokingfiresafety.
Smoking is the leading cause of fires that kill. In 2019, smoking caused 21% of fire deaths in Massachusetts homes.
Members of the Haverhill Fire Department, Haverhill Police detectives and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal jointly investigated this fire.