One of the fires was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials, while the other fire’s cause remains under investigation.

Two people died in overnight fires in Springfield and Holbrook Friday, marking the first fatal blazes of 2023.

In Springfield, a  60-year-old woman died after firefighters rescued her from a fire at her apartment. 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said crews arrived at the apartment complex at 68 Federal St. at 3:30 a.m. and pulled the woman from the first-floor apartment. She was taken to a local hospital where she eventually died from the injuries sustained in the fire, according to officials. The woman’s name was not released.

Authorities said the fire started near a chair in the living room and was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials, which is the leading cause of fatal fires in the state and across the U.S. 

“Fires that start with smoking materials are more likely to be deadly than almost any other type,” State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said in a statement. “They have claimed at least 49 lives in Massachusetts over the past five years.  If you smoke or have guests who do, please use a sturdy ashtray with water or sand and put it out, all the way, every time.”

The Springfield fire was one of two on Friday that represented the first fatal fires of the year. 

Another fire that broke out around 1:10 a.m. at a multi-story home on Belcher Street in Holbrook claimed an older man’s life and injured an older woman, according to officials.

The cause of the Holbrook fire remains under investigation, but preliminary evidence suggests the fire began in the basement or on the first floor of the three-story house, according to officials.

In that incident, firefighters rescued the two victims and transported them to an area hospital, where the male victim died from his injuries, according to officials.

“While the exact cause of the [Holbrook] fire hasn’t been determined yet, we know that working smoke alarms alerted residents on the upper floors,” said Ostroskey. “They were able to escape safely and call 9-1-1. Please take a moment to be sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and an escape plan that includes two ways out.”


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