EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

January 31, 2013

Still no ID on fire victim

HAVERHILL — A fire that broke out in an apartment at The Village at Brickett Hill off North Avenue on Monday and which claimed the life of a woman is not being eyed as suspicious in nature, but the state Fire Marshal’s office is not releasing the official cause until its investigation is completed.

“There is nothing suspicious about this fire, but we will be waiting for the full medical examiner’s report before making a final cause determination,” said Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan. Mieth said the investigation could take weeks to conclude.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said yesterday she was still waiting for an official identification of the body by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner before her office can release the woman’s name.

The fire broke out about 11:30 a.m. According to Coan’s office, Monday’s fire in Haverhill was the eighth Massachusetts fire death so far in 2013, in seven fires. State fire officials are urging the public to use extreme caution, and as a first line of defense to have working smoke alarms in your home.

Mieth said it is important to have a practiced home escape plan to take advantage of precious minutes to escape safely, and practice good fire prevention around heating, electrical, cooking and smoking.

“These are the common causes of fires, and particularly fatal fires we’re seeing lately,” Mieth said about the deadly fires that have occurred since the start of the year. “We’re not seeing one cause more than the other, we’re seeing all of these things.”

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