EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 8, 2012

Haverhill fire blamed on smoker who used oxygen


“Unfortunately in bedroom fires when mattresses start burning, it’s extremely smokey,” he said. “We had it knocked down within 20 minutes. We were there the rest of the night, for overhaul and fire watch. I kept a truck there and rotated them through 7 o’clock.”

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan concluded the March 7 fire that killed 87-year-old Phyllis Lamot started on a bed mattress and was likely sparked by “improper disposal of smoking materials or an aged heating pad.”

Coan also determined the presence of medical oxygen in the home fueled the rapid spread of the fire,

The matress where the fire began was not located in Lamot’s bedroom, but rather in one of the rooms of another first-floor occupant living at 477 Washington St. Lamot lived with two younger relatives, Raymond Matthes, 55, and Sherry Matthes, 53, who were both injured in the fire.

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