HOLLAND, Mass. (WWLP) – A space heater that was left on when nobody was home caused a house fire in the eastern Hampden County town of Holland Tuesday afternoon. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan and Holland Fire Chief Paul Foster announced the cause of the fire Wednesday, following their investigation.
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Holland Police Chief Brian Haughey told 22News that he was the first one to arrive at 128 Old County Road after the fire started. A neighbor told him that a mother and her one year-old child lived inside the house, but they weren’t sure where they were. Haughey went inside the burning home, but he had to turn around due to the heavy smoke. It turned out the mother and child were not home at the time.
Coan and Foster say that a space heater inside the home was running, even though the residents were gone, and had caused some clothing nearby to catch fire.
Space heaters caused a confirmed 125 fires in Massachusetts last year, and Coan says that they are often deadly. One in 16 space heater fires results in a death.