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Electrical Issue May Have Cause Fatal Westfield, Massachusetts Fire that Killed Elderly Couple

The Boston Herald is reporting that according to fire safety officials, an electrical problem appears to have caused the fire that claimed the lives of 82-year-old Douglas Anderson and his 84-year-old Gladys. The two were found inside their burning home in Westfield, Massachusetts yesterday afternoon.

Police say that smoke inhalation appears to have been the cause of death. There were no working smoke alarms in the house’s first or second floors. The fire appears to have started in a bedroom on the first floor where the damage seems to have been contained. However, the house’s interior sustained heavy smoke damage. Depending on what the electrical issue was, the Andersons’ adult children may have grounds for filing a Massachusetts wrongful death claim.

Common causes of house fires:
• Cooking accidents • Smoking accidents • Heating accidents • Electrical accidents • Faulty electrical wiring • Machinery or appliance defects
Fires can lead to burn injuries, disfigurement, smoke inhalation, scarring, and death.

Smoke Inhalation
According to emedicinehealth.com, smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death. 50-80% of fire fatalities are caused by smoke inhalation. Signs of smoke inhalation may include coughing, shortness of breath, breathing issues, irritated eyes, change in skin color, soot in the throat or nose, headaches, confusion, seizures, fainting, or coma.

If you believe that a fire that resulted in injury or death was caused by another party’s negligence, you may have grounds for a Massachusetts personal injury case.

Westfield residents Gladys and Douglas Anderson killed in fire at their Overlook Drive home, MassLive, February 17, 2011
Elderly couple die in Westfield fire, Boston Herald, February 18, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Home Fire Safety Tips

Smoke Inhalation, emedicinehealth

More Boston Injury Lawyer Blog Posts:
Quincy Apartment Where Fire Killed Father and Two Children Was in Illegal Basement and Didn’t Have Sprinklers or Working Smoke Alarm, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2009
58 Fire Fatalities in Massachusetts in 2007, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 4, 2008
Contact our Boston personal injury law firm today.