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Arlington woman who died in house fire fell asleep smoking

A 76-year-old woman, who was bedridden, has been identified as the person fatally injured when a fire broke out in an Arlington residence last week, officials said.

The victim, Margarita Tsugunyan, fell asleep while smoking in her bed, which she had placed in the living room of her residence on Osborne Road, on Sept. 29, according to state Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey’s office.

The fire was discovered around 9 p.m., and two of the woman’s neighbors tried to help by using a garden hose to douse the flames until Arlington firefighters arrived on the scene, officials said.

“We thank this resident for their fast action in reporting the fire and doing all they could to try to save this woman,” Arlington Fire Chief Robert Jefferson said in a statement. “This is a sad end to a long life and on behalf of the Arlington Fire Department I offer heartfelt condolences to her family.”


According to Ostroskey’s office, Tsugunyan was the ninth person to die in a fire linked to improper use of smoking materials. Overall, the state has recorded 31 fire deaths in 2018, the state fire marshal’s office reported.

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.