Deadly 2018 house fire in Southwick caused by unspecified electrical problem

Hampshire County

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – The cause of a house fire that claimed the lives of two people on Bugbee Road in Southwick nearly a year ago will remain undetermined, state fire officials announced Friday.  

According to State Fire Marshal’s Office spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth, the cause of the deadly fire at 13 Bugabee Road in Southwick on September 29, 2018, “will officially remain undetermined, but the most likely cause if electrical.” 

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The early morning fire took the lives of 29-year-old Orlando Cruz and 25-year-old Sarah Phelps. One person managed to escape the fire. 

Two dead after Southwick house fire

Mieth said investigators determined the fire started in the basement at or above the ceiling over the electrical panel. The extent of damage to the electrical wiring in the basement prevented investigators from pinpointing a specific cause. 

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Additional evidence also supports an interruption in the home electrical system before the fire was discovered, leaving investigators to believe that the fire is a result of an unspecified electrical event. 

Southwick community mourning, following deadly house fire

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