Careless smoking, burning mulch started fire that destroyed Southampton home

The house was engulfed in flames, and is a total loss.

SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) –  Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Southampton Fire Chief John Workman blame improper disposal of smoking materials in mulch for the fire that gutted a Helen drive home in Southampton Monday night.

In a News release sent to 22News, State Fire Marshal Coan said, “In the past few weeks we have experienced many fires across the Commonwealth started by the improper disposal of smoking materials in mulch, one of which caused a death.” Coan said, “Mulch is shredded bark and can be easily ignited by improperly discarded smoking materials. The risk is that what starts as a small outdoor mulch fire can quickly spread to buildings. A mulch fire can be well underway before someone notices or is alerted by smoke alarms as happened with this fire.” ”

That is apparently what happened at 30 Helen Drive a little after 11:00 pm Monday. The fire started outside and quickly spread to the rest of the house.

The entire house was totally engulfed in flames. The building is a total loss.

The residents were able to escape the home and went to a neighbors house. No firefighters were hurt and the fire was out a little before 12:30 Tuesday morning.

Fire departments from Easthampton, Westhampton and Holyoke were called in to help.

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