Updated: 1 person killed after small fire damages room at Yarmouth motel; careless disposal of smoking materials blamed

YARMOUTH – One person has died after a residential fire in Yarmouth that started with smoking materials, said Yarmouth Fire Chief Enrique Arrascue, Yarmouth Police Chief Kevin Lennon, State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine, and Cape & Islands District Attorney Robert J. Galibois.

The Yarmouth Fire Department responded to the area of 115 Route 28 following a medical alert activation at 9:50 PM Tuesday evening. On arrival, they found one person deceased and signs of a fire that had self-extinguished. The decedent, a woman in her 60s with limited mobility, was the sole occupant of the studio residence. (That property is listed as the Windrift Motel),.

The Yarmouth Fire Department, Yarmouth Police, State Police fire investigators assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s office jointly determined that the fire was accidental and started with smoking materials, which were discovered near the point of origin. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the exact cause of the woman’s death.

“First and foremost, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family,” said Chief Arrascue. “I also want to remind everyone in our community that smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in Massachusetts and the nation. Older adults are especially at risk. If you or a loved one smoke, please use a heavy ashtray on a sturdy surface and be sure to put it out, all the way, every time.”

“In the past five years, about 45 Massachusetts residents have died in fires that started with smoking materials, and more than half of them were people over 65,” said State Fire Marshal Davine. “There is no truly safe way to smoke, but if you must do it then please don’t smoke when you’re in bed, drowsy, or impaired. It’s just too dangerous.”

Live long enough to quit smoking. Visit www.mass.gov/quitting or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more about multilingual resources for smokers who want to quit.

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