HOLYOKE – A fire that destroyed a two-family home on West Frankin Street early Tuesday began following reckless smoking cessation, according to a fire official.
Captain Kevin Cavagnac said no one was injured in the 12:15 a.m. blaze at 241-243 West Franklin, but a companion dog died in the blaze. Five residents managed to escape
Investigators from the Holyoke Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the blaze was caused by smoking substances that had not been completely extinguished and then left to smolder.
The fire caused extensive damage to the second floor and the attic. Cavagnac said the house was declared a total loss.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, flames were visible from the second floor and the attic. He said it was difficult for firefighters to reach the fire from the inside and they had to attack it mainly from the outside. It took about an hour to bring the fire under control.
Cavagnac said the only safe way to extinguish cigarettes and other smoking items is to soak them in water or mash them in an ashtray filled with sand.
According to city records, the property is owned by Patricia Hart and has a total estimated value of $ 158,500.