By Staff

SAUGUS (CBS) — Investigators have determined what sparked the Saugus fire that killed 80-year-old Rose Naples and her brother Lou Saturday morning. Authorities said Thursday that the cause of the fire was electrical, and the home had no smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.

An investigation found that the fire started on the front porch, “where numerous electrical and extension cords were observed in the debris,” the fire chief, fire marshal and district attorney said in a statement. Foul play and other potential causes of the fire have been ruled out.

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“Electrical fires are the second leading cause of fire deaths in Massachusetts,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey in a statement. “It’s critically important not to overload outlets with multiple appliances, or to use power strips or extension cords to power devices like air conditioners or space heaters. If you see sparks, hear sizzling or buzzing, or smell the vague odor of something burning, call your local fire department immediately.”

It only took minutes for the house that Naples built 30 years ago on Richard Street to become engulfed. Neighbors said they heard a loud bang, then saw intense fire coming from the house that left the front completely charred.

The fire on Richard Street in Saugus (WBZ-TV)

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The siblings were well-known in the neighborhood.

“They are wonderful people and they would do anything for you,” said neighbor Annette Imbrescia, who jumped in to help EMTs.

Fire officials say smoke alarms save lives and can double the chance of survival in a fire. Forty percent of fire deaths in the United States happen in the 4% of homes that don’t have smoke alarms.

Between 2016 and 2020, Massachusetts fire departments responded to 2,719 home fires caused by electrical issues, resulting in 28 deaths and hundreds of injuries to civilians and firefighters.

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