Woman accused of starting Westfield fire

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The woman who lives in a Westfield house that was damaged in a fire Friday morning has been arrested for allegedly setting it herself.

Gloria Dandeneau was arrested by Westfield police on an arson charge, shortly after the fire at her home at 918 Granville Road, according to Jennifer Mieth of the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Westfield Fire Chief Mary Regan told 22News the roof of the home collapsed from the fire in the attic, which started around 4:00 A.M.

Regan said that Dandeneau was inside, but made it out safely on her own.

Westfield and state officials are continuing to look into the fire. Dandeneau will be arraigned Friday in Westfield District Court.

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Firefighters use the platform truck to attack a structure fire early this morning at 918 Granville Road in Westfield. The road was closed to through traffic for several hours as firefighters remained on the scene. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)
Firefighters use the platform truck to attack a structure fire early this morning at 918 Granville Road in Westfield. The road was closed to through traffic for several hours as firefighters remained on the scene. (Photo by The Westfield News/Frederick Gore)

(The Westfield News) - A city woman has been arrested in the wake of a fire at her Granville Road home early this morning. Gloria Dandeneau, 52, of 918 Granville Road, called a city emergency dispatcher at 4:13 a.m. today and indicated that she had started a fire in her closet. The woman said that she was the only person in the single family house and that she had sent her animals outside.

Three fire engines and the platform truck responded under the command of Dep. Chief Mark Devine who reports that smoke was showing at the eaves of the house when firefighters arrived. Firefighters initiated an interior attack but were unable to control the blaze and Devine ordered the firefighters to leave the building and continued to extinguish the fire with an exterior attack on the fire.

Det. Lt. David Ragazzini investigated the fire with assistance from a state trooper assigned to the Massachusetts Fire Marshal’s office and found that Dandeneau had indicated to other law enforcement officers that she was responsible for the fire. She was arrested for arson of a dwelling house.

Animal Control Officer Kerri Francis was summoned to the fire scene and took custody of two dogs, a German shepherd dog and a Brittany spaniel, who lived there. The dogs were transported to the municipal animal shelter and will be housed there temporarily until a family member can take custody of them.

Firefighters continued to work on the fire and most units were released about 7:30 a.m. when a single engine crew was assigned to firewatch duties. Assistance was requested from both the Holyoke and West Springfield fire departments which sent engines to the city to cover the headquarters in case of other fire emergencies. Dandeneau is expected to be arraigned today in Westfield District Court.

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