By CBSBoston.com Staff

HOLLISTON (CBS) – A space heater caused a deadly fire at a home in Holliston last month, the state fire marshal said Friday.

Ronda Levine, 77, died after she ran back into her burning house on Winter Street January 18 in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue more than 15 dogs that were still inside.

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Investigators said a space heater in a first floor storage room started the fire.

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“Whether the space heater was too close to something that caught fire, failed, or overloaded the electrical system cannot be specifically determined,” the fire marshal’s office said in a statement.

“The only heat in the home was from multiple electric space heaters used throughout the house. The furnace was not working. There were no working smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in the home.”

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“Sadly, every tragedy provides us with lessons on how not to have a repeat. Working smoke alarms give you more time to use your home escape plan, and as we teach our youngsters in school, get out and stay out. Never re-enter a burning building,” said Holliston Fire Chief Michael Cassidy.

CBSBoston.com Staff