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Press Release  West Stockbridge Fire Accidental

Smoking and Electrical Likely Causes
For immediate release:
  • Department of Fire Services
  • West Stockbridge Fire Department

Media Contact for West Stockbridge Fire Accidental

Jennifer Mieth, Public Information Officer

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WEST STOCKBRIDGEWest Stockbridge Fire Chief Peter A. Skorput and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the cause of the May 3, 2019 fire at 18 Swamp Road was accidental. The owner reported the fire in the single-family home at 10:30 p.m.

The fire originated in the back bedroom where there was a power strip in use and several ashtrays. Due to the extent of the damage, investigators cannot rule out smoking or electrical as a possible cause. Investigators found no evidence of an intentionally-set fire. The fire is considered officially undetermined but accidental. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 921 for fire investigation requires investigators to leave a fire cause undetermined when there is more than one likely cause.

There was widespread use of multiple extension cords, often daisy-chained together, throughout the home. There was evidence of portable propane tanks used for cooking inside the home. Ammunition stored inside the home exploded during the fire, posing a danger to firefighters.

It is illegal to bring propane tanks inside any home. It is unsafe to use extension cords for more than temporary use and very dangerous to daisy chain them together.

The West Stockbridge Fire Department and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal jointly investigated this fire.


Media Contact for West Stockbridge Fire Accidental

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.

West Stockbridge Fire Department