Lack of smoke detectors blamed for deaths in Westfield, fire officials say
Two people died in Westfield on Saturday afternoon after a house fire in a building without smoke detectors, according to officials.
Neighbors called 911 around 3 p.m. when they noticed a fire in the two-story, single-family home at 40 Park St., said Westfield Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Egloff.
One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other died at Baystate Noble Hospital, Egloff said. Officials have not identified the victims.
“Working fire alarms would have saved lives yesterday,” Egloff said Sunday afternoon.
The fire consumed one room and its contents but did not spread to other parts of the building, Egloff said. Smoke filled most of the house, causing more damage than the fire, according to Egloff.
“It’s not a total loss, the building is still standing,” Egloff said.
A “hoarding situation,” Egloff said, made it difficult for firefighters to enter the house, run hoses through the building, and extinguish the fire.
Although officials have not determined what started the fire, officials are focusing “on an accidental cause,” State fire marshal’s office spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth said in a statement. The Westfield fire department and police department, and the state fire marshal’s office are investigating.