Hudson – State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan, Hudson Fire Chief John Blood and Hudson Police Chief Michael Burkes announced the cause of today’s fatal fire at 15 Baben Road in Hudson was smoking. The fire took the life of 76-year old Carol Gionet.
At 10:30 this morning, a home health aide discovered the fire when she visited the woman and called 9-1-1. The exterior of the building shows little sign of the extreme heat and fire damage inside the building. Chief Blood said, “The fire consumed all the oxygen in the airtight home and eventually self-extinguished. Sadly, it appears the resident was overcome by the heat and toxic gases.” Exactly when the fire started is not known; the last time someone spoke to the victim was 7 p.m. last night.
The elderly woman, who used a walker, was found next to the couch which is where the fire started. There was evidence of smoking materials, and the woman was known to be a smoker.
Carbon monoxide alarms were sounding in the basement of the one-family home. The smoke alarms were completely melted and whether or not they functioned is still under investigation.
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Thirty-one people have died in fires in Massachusetts so far this year. Nine of those deaths have been people over 65 and half were people over age 60.”
The fire was jointly investigated by the Hudson Fire Department, Hudson Police Department, State Police assigned to the Office of the Middlesex District Attorney and to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Fire District 14 Fire Investigation Team. Assistance was received from the Code Compliance Unit in the Department of Fire Services.