- Department of Fire Services
Media Contact for Smoking Cause of Fatal Burlington House Fire
Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer
BURLINGTON — Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson, Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent, Middlesex District Attorney Marion T. Ryan and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the cause of the January 9, 2020 fire at 26 Maryvale Road in Burlington was the improper disposal of smoking materials. The fire took the life of a man, believed to be a resident of the home. The identity will be released by the Office of the Middlesex District Attorney once formal identification by the Medical Examiner and notification of the next of kin has been completed.
An elderly woman was rescued from the home by a FedEx driver and a neighbor and she was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The fire started in the first floor living room where the victim was found. A melted plastic bucket containing Pall Mall cigarette remnants was found near the couch. There was additional evidence of smoking materials found in the living room.
“Yesterday's fire had a tragic outcome that could have been even worse were it not for the quick actions of bystanders,” Chief Patterson said. “While I want to reiterate that non-fire personnel should never seek to insert themselves into this kind of situation, I do want to thank them for the help they provided to the woman in escaping. I'd also like to express my gratitude to the members of our department and our mutual aid partners who provided their support on-scene, as well as offer my condolences to the family affected by this tragedy.”
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Our office investigated two fires in 24 hours started by the improper disposal of smoking materials. It is important for smokers to use deep sturdy ashtrays or metal cans with sand.” He added, “Remember, put it out; all the way; every time.”
The Burlington Fire Department, Burlington Police Department and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Office of the Middlesex District Attorney jointly investigated the fire.