The improper use and disposal of smoking materials has been named the cause of Friday morning’s fatal fire in Ipswich, officials said. The Central Street fire took the life of one woman whose name has not yet been released.
“Even though fire deaths are generally decreasing, this has been a difficult winter,” State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said in a statement. “Smoking remains the leading cause of fire deaths in the state.”
Ipswich Fire Chief Arthur Howe III said in a statement, “This fire is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the victim’s family and friends. The fact that the fire sprinkler system was able to control the fire until firefighters arrived prevented anyone else from being hurt and kept property damage to an absolute minimum.”
Fire officials recommend taking the following precautions in order to prevent a smoking-related fire:
- Smoke outside of the home.
- Use a sturdy ashtray or a can filled with sand to collect ashes.
- Ashtrays should be set on a sturdy surface that is hard to ignite, such as a table.
- Make sure cigarettes are completely stubbed out in the ashtray.
- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away.
- Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash.
- Do not put ashtrays on chairs or sofas, which can quickly catch on fire.