February 26, 2016 -Springfield, MA- Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Wales Fire Chief John S. Croke and Wales Police Chief Jeffrey Hastings announced the today the identity of the victim from the February 21, 2016 fire at 21 Lake George Drive in Wales. The fire took the life of 91-year old June League. Sadly, Ms. League had been alive when she called the fire department to report the fire, but was overcome by smoke and poisonous gases by the time they arrived.
Investigators determined that the fire originated in a greenhouse attached to the single-family home. Plugged into an outlet where the fire started were an extension cord, powering a portable electric heater, and an electrical fan. Investigators cannot determine further whether the fan or the space heater suffered an electrical failure, or if the space heater ignited combustibles too close. There was no evidence of working smoke alarms in the home.
The fire was jointly investigated by the Wales Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Office of Hampden District Attorney. Assistance was received from the Code Compliance Unit of the Department of Fire Services.