Two men rescued from their burning homes in Pepperell and Peabody have died from their injuries, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey’s office said Thursday.
The Pepperell victim, described as “an older adult” male was injured Tuesday night during an electrical fire at his home on Mill Street, Ostroskey said in a statement.
The man was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“On behalf of the Pepperell Fire Department, I want to express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones,” said Pepperell Fire Chief Brian Borneman in the statement. “This is a terrible tragedy for them and the community.”
In Peabody, a man died Wednesday, one week after he was injured in a 3-alarm house fire on Ellsworth Road that also injured another adult, Ostroskey said in a separate statement.
The man was not identified, pending notification of his next of kin, the statement said. The other man injured in the fire is recovering, the statement said.
“On behalf of the Peabody Fire Department, I want to express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones,” said Peabody Fire Chief Joseph Daly said in the statement. “This was a tragic event for them and the community, and we believe the tragedy could have been even greater if not for working smoke alarms in the building.”
In both fires, neighbors rescued the victims from their homes.
A neighbor to the Pepperell man heard smoke alarms around 10:25 p.m. and called 911, the statement said. Pepperell fire and police brought the man out to the front landing of his house to await an ambulance.
Pepperell firefighters battled the electrical fire for almost an hour and prevented it from spreading to nearby homes, the statement said. The blaze had started on the first floor in the wall between the kitchen and living room.
Neighbors to the Peabody residents helped them escape the building during the fire at 2:30 a.m., the statement said. Crews from Peabody, Lynn and Salem battled the fire for about four hours and prevented it from spreading to nearby homes.
The fire had started in a first-floor bedroom and was not deliberately set, the statement said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Ostroskey warns residents that half of fatal fires are most commonly caused by smoking materials or electrical events taking place between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
“There’s no safe way to smoke, but if you must smoke then please don’t do it in bed or when you’re drowsy. Use a sturdy ashtray with water or sand and be sure to put it out, all the way, every time.” Ostroskey said.
“Electrical fires often start with too many devices plugged into extension cords or power strips,” Ostroskey said. “Heating appliances like space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. When you’re charging phones, laptops, or other devices, always place them on a hard and sturdy surface, not on a bed or sofa.”
Madison Mercado can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.