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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Investigators: Newton fatal fire may have started with man smoking, using oxygen

A 58-year-old man died in a fire Tuesday that investigators believe started with a chair in his living room and was caused by careless smoking in combination with the victim also being on oxygen, police said.

Newton Police Dispatchers received a call at noon from the alarm company for Brookside Terrace Apartments reporting a fire alarm at the building, which is located at 33 Mill St .Subsequent 9-1-1 callers reported smoke and fire throughout the building, police said. . . .



Residents, meanwhile, were evacuated to the community center on the first floor of the apartment building and to the Newton Firehouse located across the street. Officers from the Sussex County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene to assist with traffic control and to provide transportation to the firehouse with the sheriff's bus. A total of 5 people were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation and other minor injuries, police said.

Detectives from the Newton Police Department and the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office examined the scene and conducted an investigation that resulted in the preliminary determination that the fire was accidental and likely due to careless smoking in combination with the victim also being on oxygen, police said.


The origin of the fire appeared to be a chair in the living room.