Marlborough – Deputy State Fire Marshal Maribel Fournier, Marlborough Fire Chief Kevin J. Breen and Marlborough Police Chief David Giorgi said in a statement released this afternoon that the cause of this morning’s fire at 86 Neil Street was the improper disposal of smoking materials. The fire took the life of a woman believed to be the resident. Her name has not yet been released.
According to a release from the officials, the fire began in the living room near the couch. The occupants of the other side of the duplex at 88 Neil Street were alerted to the fire by the sound of the smoke alarms at 86, and were able to safely escape. Investigators believe the victim may have tried to fight the fire herself as they found the water in the kitchen sink running.
Chief Breen said, “On behalf of the city of Marlborough and the men and women of the fire department I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family who have lost a loved one. I would remind everyone that you have only minutes to escape a fire. Don’t delay. Get out, stay out and call 9-1-1 from outside the fire.”
Deputy State Fire Marshal Fournier said, “Smoking has been the cause of nine of the 28 fire deaths in our state in 2017. Recently, as smokers have moved outdoors, there have been dozens of outside fires started by the improper disposal of smoking materials.” She added, “Whether indoors or out, put cigarettes out all the way, every time, in a sturdy ashtray or a can with sand, to prevent smoking fires.”
The fire was jointly investigated by the Marlborough Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. The District Attorney’s office will release the identity of the victim after upon formal confirmation by the Medical Examiner’s Office and notification of next of kin.
Assistance was received from the Code Compliance Unit of the Department of Fire Services and the Marlborough electrical inspector.