Professor Fighting Cancer Killed In Newton House Fire

NEWTON (CBS) – A college professor was found dead several hours after a fire tore through her home in Newton early Monday morning.

63-year-old Beth Deare was the only person not to make it out after the fire gutted the two-family house on Waverly Avenue around 1:30 a.m.

Her body was found just before noon-time.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

Part of the third floor collapsed on her second floor room, making entry impossible for firefighters.

“We believe (the fire) started in that room, in her room,” acting Newton Fire Chief Bruce Proia told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

“We know that it’s accidental, most likely cigarettes, at this point.”

Deare was last seen in her apartment watching TV around 10 p.m. Sunday.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

She had been frail and sick from a bout with cancer.

Her family said she survived throat cancer five years ago and this past summer was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Deare had taught English and Communications at Bunker Hill Community College for the last 16 years.

Before that, she worked at WGBH-TV, where she won more than 10 Emmy awards, according to her family.

She is survived by her sister and several relatives.

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  • Andrea

    Beth was an amazing woman, loved and respected by those who knew her. I will miss my Auntie very much and will take solace to know she is now at peace from the cancer that she was fighting so fiercely against.

  • Fred Brown

    Beth was such a warm and courageous woman. Such a loss to all who knew her.

  • Jac-Lynn Stark

    Beth was such a fighter with a strong spirit. It just seems so unfair that she killed in a fire. At least she will no longer be suffering. She will be missed by many.

  • Cynic

    Throat Cancer? Smoking? Really?

  • George Raynor and family

    Our community will miss and be at loss, for Beth was invovled in all aspects of its life, education, communication, politics and family. She was also a good schoolmate, friend and neighbor, bringing her special joy to our everyday lives. Our family will miss this courageous and brillant woman. Rest in peace…my friend!

  • Mairead

    She was one of my favorite teachers at Bunker Hill. God rest her soul. She’ll be missed!

  • Michael Tieri

    I’m struck with sadness right now, I had just found this out now. Prof Dear was my first English professor here at BHCC I’m can’t believe this happened and I am deeply upset. She was a great and beautiful person, I know she is in a better place now though. I will miss you, and so will everyone else. Love you Professor Dear, see you in heaven -Mike Tieri

  • Alex Tanger

    Professor Deare was an inspirational and loving woman who brought the best out of those around her. She was a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to many. Her bright charisma and constant smile will be missed greatly.

    You made an incredible impact on my college life. May you rest easy in heaven free from your fight with cancer.

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