New Bedford Fire Chief Paul N. Corderre Jr., New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro, Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the cause of the December 28, 2019 fire at 143 Myrtle Street in New Bedford appears to have been an electrical event in the kitchen. Because of the damage to the wiring and the electronic appliances, the fire will remain officially undetermined.
The fire took the life of an elderly man who lived on the top floor of a two-family home.
The fire originated at the kitchen countertop level where there was a toaster, a can opener, and a coffee maker. There was a 3-way adapter plugin one outlet and a microwave oven plugged into an extension cord. It was impossible to determine which, if any, of the appliances were actually plugged in, or in use, at the time of the fire.
The New Bedford Fire Department, the New Bedford Police Department, and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of the Bristol District Attorney jointly investigated the fire.
Chief Corderre said, “On behalf of the New Bedford Fire Department, I offer my deepest condolences to the family.”
Electrical is one of the leading causes of fatal fires in Massachusetts. For more information on how to prevent electrical fires go to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/electrical-fire-safety.