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Massachusetts officials warn after woman dies in weekend candle fire



A dropped candle caused a fire last night that fatally injured an older adult in Massachusetts.

According to Fire Chief Mark R. Douglass, Police Chief Maurice J. Splaine, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, and Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz, the Kingston Fire Department responded to the area of South Street following a 911 call at about 3:00 pm. On arrival, they found one injured party, who was transported from the scene. While there was no structural damage, the investigation determined that the victim dropped a candle, which ignited her clothing and caused serious injuries that eventually claimed her life. Her name is being withheld pending full family notifications.

“I’d like to express the deepest condolences of the Kingston Fire Department to the victim’s family,” said Chief Douglass. “Remember that even a small flame can pose a fire and burn hazard. Always place a candle in a sturdy candleholder or nonflammable saucer on a solid, steady surface before you light it. Keep anything that can burn at least one foot away on all sides, and extinguish the flame before leaving the room or going to sleep. Even better, select battery-powered flameless candles, which offer the same soft light that traditional candles do.”
-Wear short or tightly-rolled sleeves when using candles or cooking on a stovetop so they don’t brush up against the flames and ignite,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “If clothing does catch fire, smother it rather than trying to run or bat it out. Remember to stop, drop, and roll, or cover the flames with a blanket, towel, or coat. Use cool water on the burn, and call 9-1 1 for medical help right away.”

The last fatal candle fire in Massachusetts took place on Dec. 8, 2020, in Revere. One person died, two residents and a firefighter were injured, and damage was estimated at $1.1 million. It was one of 92 candle fires that year, 75 of which took place in residential settings.

The fire on South Street was jointly investigated by the Kingston Fire Department, the Kingston Police Department, the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit, and State Police assigned to the Plymouth District Attorney’s office.

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