MARLBORO (CBS) – Investigators say that smoking was the cause of a fatal fire that burned through part of a Marlboro duplex Thursday morning.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Maribel Fournier, Marlboro Fire Chief Kevin Breen, and Marlboro Police Chief David Giorgi say the cause of the early morning fire was, “Improper disposal of smoking materials.”

“Smoking has been the cause of nine of the 28 fire deaths in Massachusetts this year,” Fournier said.

A woman died in a fire that tore through part of a duplex in Marlboro early Thursday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home on Neil Street just before 4 a.m.

The home on Neil Street after the fire. (WBZ-TV)

Residents of the 88 Neil Street side of the building heard the smoke alarms and got out safely, but a woman on the first floor of the other side had to be pulled out by firefighters.

“They found the victim, started to extricate the victim and fire drove them back.  Other crews immediately applied water and they were able to remove the victim within the next minute or two,” Marlboro Fire Chief Kevin Breen told reporters.

“They actually entered a room that was actively on fire.  It’s amazing that they located the woman as quickly as they did, but clearly the fire condition was growing,” Breen said.

“When you open a door or a window, you are actually adding an opportunity for the fire to grow by ventilating it,”Breen said. “I think they obviously did everything right.”

Firefighters had to retreat from the room because of the flames and retrieved the woman after going into the room a second time.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Breen said she was in her fifties and was likely the only person living in that side of duplex.


WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports