The Chelsea Fire Department has determined as accidental a fast moving three-alarm fire that gutted a three family home on Louis Street two weeks ago.
Following a full investigation by the fire department’s investigation’s unit, Chelsea Fire Captain Richard Parisie reported earlier this week careless disposal of smoking material was the cause of the blaze.
Smoking has been the leading cause of fatal fires in Massachusetts since World War II, Parisie told the Record.
The fire started on the rear porch on the third floor of the wooden 20th Century structure.
It quickly spread to the interior, shortly engulfing the structure in roaring flames and heavy smoke.
The fire was first reported by Chelsea police on patrol in the area, who noticed the flames and smoke at about 2:34 p.m.
Chelsea police officers searched the home and aided in escorting residents from the burning building.
Fir apparatus arriving on the scene also searched the three family for occupants and then got down to the business of fighting the fire.
Chief Chuck Fothergill was on the scene as well as Deputy Chief Phil Dalis.
“If the first arriving firefighters hadn’t acted as quickly as they did, the home next door would have also been consumed by flames, Fothergill told the Record.
According to Fothergill roof venting operations were initiated quickly in spite of deteriorating conditions.
The fire was brought under control by 5:00 p.m. with the assistance of firefighters from Revere, Everett, Boston, Winthrop, Malden and Somerville.
According to Parisie, the blaze caused $500,000 in damages.
The Red Cross assisted those displaced by the fire.
The fire closely resembled a fatal blaze in Everett caused by the careless disposal of a cigarette.
An elderly brother and sister died in that blaze which began when a first floor tenant tossed a lit cigarette into a rubbish barrel stored close to the building outside.