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Woman, 69, dies from injuries suffered in Plymouth house fire

Officials on Monday identified a 69-year-old woman killed in a fire that tore through her Plymouth home Wednesday night.

In a statement, the state Department of Fire Services identified the victim as Cathleen Drinan.

She died from her injuries Saturday, following the blaze that broke out at her Braunecker Road residence around 10:55 p.m. on Dec. 8, the statement said.

Officials said a neighbor was injured while trying to help Drinan, and a Plymouth firefighter suffered burns to his ears, neck, and back while searching for her. Both the neighbor and firefighter were taken to local hospitals and “are recovering,” the statement said.


Investigators determined the fire started with an unspecified “electrical event” in the living room on the first floor, where a surge protector and various electrical devices were detected in the debris, according to the statement.

“We at the Plymouth Fire Department want to express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones,” said Plymouth Fire Chief G. Edward Bradley in the statement. “Older adults face a heightened risk of dying in a fire, so it’s especially important for them to have working smoke alarms on every level of the home and to practice a home escape plan.”

Bradley’s words were echoed in the release by state Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.

“Electrical issues are the second-leading cause of residential fire deaths in Massachusetts,” Ostroskey said. “Always plug space heaters and other appliances directly into a wall socket rather than a power strip or extension cord. Remember not to overload a power strip with too many devices, and when charging devices like laptops and phones, place them on hard, stable surfaces rather than beds or sofas.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.