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Improper cigarette disposal blamed in fatal Fitchburg fire

A cigarette sparked the fire that killed two people and seriously injured a third last week in Fitchburg, fire officials said Thursday.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the blaze started when a cigarette was not disposed of properly. The fire ignited the East Street house at about 11:30 p.m. March 30 and raged into the next morning.

Lisa Englehart, 39, and Christopher Brinkley, 22, were asleep on the second floor when the fire started. Firefighters dragged them from the blaze, but they both died.

“One common thing among them has been a lack of working smoke alarms, which can double the chance of surviving a fire,” Coan said.


Frank Huckins Sr., 65, was asleep on the first floor of the home and suffered serious injuries.

Fitchburg Fire Chief Kevin Roy urged citizens to install fire and carbon monoxide alarms.

Officials said there was a delay in calling the Fire Department about the blaze.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera