EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 10, 2013

'Clutter' blocked access to trailer where man died

By Paul Tennant

---- — RAYMOND, N.H. — The man who died in a fire early Saturday morning has been identified as William Duguay. He was 55.

The fire at 37 Regina Ave., reported at 1:30 a.m., was discovered by a neighbor across the street who saw smoke coming from the single-family manufactured home. Neighbors and first responders tried to enter the home and rescue Duguay.

Their efforts were hampered by a large amount of clutter inside the home that blocked doors, according to State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan. Raymond firefighters extinguished the fire and discovered Duguay inside.

The New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death was accidental due to smoke inhalation. Duguay was using a small charcoal grill for cooking or heating in the living room, Degnan said.

The fire in the grill ignited nearby combustible materials, according to Degnan. No working smoke or carbon monoxide detectors were found in the home, the fire marshal said. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental, he added.

Degnan urges everyone to make sure there are working smoke detectors on each level of a home and inside bedrooms. One has only three minutes to escape a fire after the smoke alarm sounds, he said.

Home fire sprinklers also save lives and reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 82 percent, he said. Degnan pointed out that two of the leading causes of fire deaths in New Hampshire are unattended cooking and improper installation or maintenance of heating appliances.

People should use listed heating equipment that is installed by a person qualified to do the work and should never leave flammable items within three feet of heating appliances, the fire marshal said.

November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month in New Hampshire, he noted.