CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The cause of the deadly mobile home fire on Quail Drive in Chicopee was announced Monday.
According to a news release from the Department of Fire Services, the fire was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials.
Neighbors around the area of Quail Dr. called the Chicopee Fire Department just after midnight on Thursday, September 9. Firefighters arrived shortly and upon learning that the only resident wasn’t accounted for, entered the residence where they found the 80-year-old victim deceased.
“This was a tragic event, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim, said Chicopee Fire Chief Daniel P. Stamborski. “Smoking remains the leading cause of fire fatalities in Massachusetts. Smoking in bed or when you’re sleepy is especially dangerous because these fires can smolder undetected before they burst into flame. The safest thing you can do is quit – if not for yourself then for the people who love you.”
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey adds, “Smoking outdoors is one way to be sure you stay awake, but disposing of smoking materials carefully is just as important outside the home as it is inside,” he continues, “Just as embers can ignite upholstery or bedding, they can start a fire in mulch, planters, or wooden porches and railings. Use a heavy ashtray or can with water or sand and put it out, all the way, every time.”
The investigation done by the Chicopee Fire Department, the State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit, and State Police detectives assigned to the Hampden County District Attorney’s office found evidence of cigarettes and other smoking materials that were in the area of a living room recliner.