Cause of deadly 3-alarm fire in Florence identified

Hampshire County

Authorities have released the cause of the deadly three-alarm fire at a home on Carolyn Street on January 3. 

According to Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, improper disposal of smoking materials caused the house fire that killed a 69-year-old man at 45 Carolyn Street in Northampton early Thursday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home around 4:30 a.m., where they found the victim and removed him from the home during the fire. He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. 

Authorities have not released the man’s name. 

Investigators believe the fire started between two recliners in the den. Mieth said, “there was ample evidence of smoking in that area and other possible causes were ruled out.” 

Investigators also found two battery-operated smoke alarms inside the home that didn’t have batteries and were not working. Fire officials say they found no signs the home had any carbon monoxide alarms. 

“Working smoke alarms are your first line of defense against fire,” State Fire Marshal  Peter Ostroskey said. “It is important to make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home to provide early warning of danger.” 

This was a joint investigation involving the Northampton Fire and Police Departments, and investigators attached to the State Fire Marshall and Northwestern DA’s office. 

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