FALL RIVER, Mass (WPRI) — A fire that ripped through a Fall River home and sent seven people to the hospital was deemed accidental by the state fire marshal.
The multi-family home on Alden Street caught fire on the night of June 5. An investigation conducted by state and city officials determined the fire started in the first-floor dining room and spread from there.
While the exact cause of the fire is officially “undetermined,” State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said it was most likely electrical in nature since investigators found a large number of extension cords, power strips, adapters and a space heater in the area.
“Overloaded extension cords and power strips are a common cause of electrical fires,” Fall River Fire Chief Roger St. Martin said.
“It’s important to remember that these items are intended for temporary use, not as permanent solutions, so consult a licensed electrician if you need additional wall outlets,” he continued. “Never string extension cords together, and keep electrical cords out from under rugs and away from doors or furniture that might pinch them.”
Ostroskey said electrical fires claimed 10 lives in Massachusetts last year. He urged people to make sure they have working fire alarms on every floor, which should be tested monthly and have the batteries replaced twice a year.
An elderly woman who was pulled from the burning home by two bystanders was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, officials said, while three other occupants and three firefighters were transported with less serious injuries. At least one other person was treated at the scene.
The building inspector estimated it will cost around $500,000 to repair the home.