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Officials: Fatal Salem fire was accidental

May 7, 2013

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — The state fire marshal and Salem fire chief say a weekend house fire that killed a Salem man was an accident.

Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said in a statement Tuesday that investigators found the fire started in the second-floor apartment between a desk and a closet, and may have been caused either by a candle or smoking materials. He said other possible causes were eliminated.

Fire Chief David Cody said there were no smoke alarms in the second-floor apartment, and alarms in the basement and first floor weren’t working.

Salem Fire Capt. Alan Dionne said earlier that 53-year-old Michael Lyness owned the three-story Beacon Street home and lived in the second floor unit where firefighters found his body early Sunday morning. A tenant on the first floor escaped.

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