WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Investigators have determined the cause of a Westfield fire that forced over 100 elderly residents from their homes.
State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Westfield Fire Chief Mary Reagan say in a joint statement that a burner unintentionally left on on an electric stove came in contact with some nearby material and ignited.
The fire caused an estimated $750,000 in damage to the apartment building at 16 Washington Street in Westfield Tuesday night.
134 residents were displaced temporarily and 25 people were displaced for a longer period of time.
Coan reminds people that cooking is the number one cause of fires in Massachusetts, the leading cause of fire injuries, and the leading cause of injuries for people over the age of 65.
In 2010 alone, there were 9,806 residential fires involved cooking, resulting in one death, 95 injuries, and 32 firefighter injuries.
The state has a section devoted to cooking safety and preventing cooking fires. You can access more information on that through the Fire Marshal’s website.