Chelsea Fatal Fire Determined to Be Caused by Electrical Problems

Chelsea Fire Chief Leonard A. Albanese Jr., Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins announced the cause of the May 3 fire at 48 Watts St., a 2-family home in Chelsea, was electrical.

A quick-moving fire on Watts and Highland Streets last Friday, May 3, claimed the life of one 37-year-old man and caused extensive damage. Investigators said there were major problems with smoke detectors in the home and first-responders reported not hearing any alarms upon arrival.

The fire took the life of an adult man
believed to be a relative of the occupants of 48 Watts St. The victim was
identified as Milton Lopez, 37.

In the dense neighborhood, the fire spread
to rear of 107-109 Highland Street.

The fire originated in a void space above
the suspended ceiling of an enclosed porch. Investigators determined that an
electrical event took place in the area of origin where there were numerous
electrical circuits. Just before the fire was discovered, residents reported
that the lights in the first floor kitchen, the room next to the porch, went
off. The victim was found on the enclosed porch.

Chelsea fire investigators, Chelsea
detectives, and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire
Marshal and to the Office of Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins jointly
investigated this fire. The Chelsea Inspectional Services Department, State

Police Crime Scene Services and the Department of Fire Services’ Code
Compliance Unit provided assistance.

The home had a mixture of working, missing
and disconnected smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and heat detectors. All
of the alarms found in the home, whether they were disconnected, lying on a
shelf, or actually functional, had expired and were more than 10 years old.
First-arriving firefighters report not hearing any alarms sounding.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “May is
Electrical Safety Month and electrical fires are the second leading cause of
fire deaths in Massachusetts behind smoking. It’s important to have a licensed
electrician check out your system every ten years to prevent problems.”

For more
information on electrical fire safety go to:
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/electrical-fire-safety.

Original article:

Chelsea Fatal Fire Determined to Be Caused by Electrical Problems

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