Fatal Athol fire ruled accidental - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Fatal Athol fire ruled accidental

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Multiple agencies determined a fatal fire in an Athol home on Thursday to be accidental.

The State Fire Marshal, Northwestern District Attorney's office and Athol Acting Fire Chief John L. Duguay announced the cause of the February 5 fire at 2275 South Athol Road in Athol.

The fire started in a bedroom of 57-year-old Richard A. Bogan, a disabled man who died in the fire.

“They believe the most likely cause with either electrical or the improper disposal of smoking materials,” State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said.

There were numerous electrical appliances in the room including a television, a fan and a space heater but the destruction of the home did not warrant enough evidence for electrical experts to say with the certainty that the fire was electrical in nature.

Bogan had a son who was living at the home. He was able to escape the fire.

“Fire is such a terrible way to lose a loved one,” Athol Fire Chief John Duguay said. “I beg every resident to test their smoke alarms and make sure they are working. No one expects a fire.”

There are no reports of anyone hearing the smoke alarms in the home.

The fire was jointly investigated by the Athol Fire Department, Athol Police Department, and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan. Assistance was received from an electrical expert and the Code Compliance staff of the Department of Fire Services' Division of Fire Safety.

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