December 26, 2015 -Springfield, Mass- Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan, Westfield Fire Chief Mary Reagan, and Westfield Police Chief John Camerota today released the identity of the victim from the December 23, 2015 fire at 64 Mill Street, Westfield. The fire was caused by a portable space heater which was located to close to combustibles. The fire took the life of the sole occupant of the home, John R. Enko.
The fire was jointly investigated by the Westfield Fire and Police Departments, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Office of Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni.
No Working Smoke Alarms
State Fire Marshal Coan said, “There were no working smoke or carbon monoxide alarms in the home. No one thinks fire will happen to them, but we have lost nine people to fire in December. Please take a minute to protect yourself and your family this holiday season and make sure ALL your smoke and CO alarms are working.”
Space Heater Fires between 2005 and 2014 One hundred and twenty five (125) space heater fires were reported to the Office of the State Fire Marshal between 2005 and 2014. While these fires are not frequent, they are deadly. One of every 16 space heater fires causes a fatality. These fires caused 23 civilian injuries, 27 fire service injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $7 million. The average dollar loss for a space heater fire is $55,982. Twenty-five percent (25%) of these fires were caused when combustible materials such as bedding, magazines, newspapers, clothing or furniture were too close to the heater, and another 3% were caused when rugs, carpets or mats were under or too close to the heater.