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Fire Marshal: Fatal Palmer fire started by candle

February 13, 2015

PALMER, Mass. (AP) — A fire in a Palmer apartment that took the life of a 53-year-old woman was started by a candle.

Investigators announced Friday that they found evidence of a melted candle where the fire in the basement studio started, and have eliminated all other possible causes.

The victim of Monday’s fire, identified as Christine Grinaski, also told a neighbor that a candle had started the blaze, before she succumbed to smoke.

The fire displaced 33 tenants of the 20-unit building. Hard-wired smoke alarms in the common areas activated and alerted residents, but it is unclear if the battery-operated smoke alarms in the individual apartments worked. Many of the smoke alarms not destroyed by the fire were found to have missing or dead batteries.

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