WESTFIELD- A fire that broke out at 163 Susan Dr. Monday evening was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials according to Jennifer Mieth of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The fire, which began in the kitchen of the residence at 5:34 p.m. Monday, was caused by smoking materials that burned through the floor and ignited wood and other items stored on the floor of the basement, according to Fire Chief Patrick Egloff and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. A burned and melted ashtray was found on the scene and the resident was known to smoke cigarettes.
The fire was jointly investigated by Westfield fire personnel, Westfield police detectives, and the state police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal. At the time of the fire, two people were in the home. One of the individuals, a child, was treated for smoke inhalation. The other person escaped the residence safely. Deputy Fire Chief Seth Ellis said the damages totaled at least $25,000. Several pets were in the house too, which Ellis said were removed from the building alive, but two had to be resuscitated. He did not know if they survived.
“We are fortunate both that the fire started at 5:34 p.m. when people were awake and that the smoke alarms worked and alerted them to the danger,” said Egloff, “Otherwise this fire could have had a deadly outcome.”
Ostroskey said “smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires. It is important for smokers to be responsible and put out their cigarettes or other smoking materials all the way, every time, and to discard cigarettes safely. Place them in a can with water before disposing of them in the trash.”