Fire Marshal’s Office: Improper disposal of smoking materials caused Orange blaze

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 04-17-2023 5:07 PM

ORANGE — The Summit Street fire that displaced two families with children on Saturday afternoon was accidental and was most likely caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials, according to Jake Wark, public information officer with the state Department of Fire Services.

Wark said the Orange Fire Department and representatives of the State Fire Marshal’s Office collaborated to investigate the fire that started shortly before 1 p.m. near an outdoor deck at the 2½-story duplex at 36 Summit St. Orange Fire Chief James Young previously said there were no injuries, though one firefighter experienced heat exhaustion and was evaluated on scene.

The blaze was reported by the occupants of one side of the duplex. Young previously said the building’s owners, who lived on the other side, were not home when the fire started. When reached on Monday, he said the American Red Cross dispatched a team out of Springfield the evening of the fire to assist both families with temporary housing.

Young previously said the duplex is a “total loss” due to structural instability of the roof, and the extent of the fire and smoke damage. The fire was considered equivalent to a third alarm due to the number of departments that were called in through mutual aid.

Wark said this incident is a reminder to always use caution with smoking materials.

“We want folks to use a steady ashtray,” Wark said, adding that it is ideal to put water or sand in the ashtray. “Be sure you put it out all the way every time.”

Wark also said cigarette butts and other smoking materials should never be discarded near grass or mulch.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.

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