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Fatal Palmer Fire Likely Started By Candle

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Investigators say a candle started a deadly fire in Palmer, Massachusetts.

   Investigators found evidence of a melted candle in the living room of a basement apartment in the twenty-apartment unit building, and have eliminated all other possible causes, according to the Massachusetts Fire Marshall’s office.  The 53 year old woman who lived in the apartment, Christine Grinaski died.  Smoke alarms throughout the building were found to have missing or dead batteries.  It highlights an issue Fire Marshall Stephen Coan constantly raises.

" Too many people die in fire because smoke alarms are not in place or not operating properly," Coan said during a recent interview.

  Candles were blamed for two fatal fires in Massachusetts in 2013.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.