A deadly fire tore through a single-family home in New Bedford on Thursday, claiming the life of one occupant and leaving three others injured, including one person in critical condition.
The New Bedford Fire Department responded to the fire on 260 Chestnut St. after receiving 911 calls at around 1:40 p.m., according to State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey’s office.
Firefighters used ground ladders to enter the home through its windows on the upper story, where officials said they could see heavy fire. They entered the building and walked up an inside stairway.
Firefighters found two older adults, one man and one woman, Ostroskey’s office said. Both were removed from the house and taken to the hospital. The man was pronounced dead, but the woman was in critical condition.
Two other adults left the burning house before they were also taken to the hospital, Ostroskey’s office said.
While the fire did not appear to be suspicious and its exact cause is under investigation, Ostroskey’s office said the home had working smoking alarms. Investigations into several house fires across Massachusetts over a two-week period in April found those homes lacked working smoke alarms, leaving at least six people dead.
“We don’t yet know exactly how this fire started, but we do know that most fire deaths take place at home,” Ostroskey said in a statement. “In addition to working smoke alarms, every household should have a home escape plan. Create a plan that includes two ways out, and practice both of them so you know what to do and where to go in an emergency. Remember that older adults face the greatest risk of death or serious injury in a fire and may need assistance getting out quickly.”
Along with the New Bedford Fire Department, the New Bedford Police Department, the State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, and State Police assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office are investigating the fire.
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