One dead following house fire in Westfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

One dead following house fire in Westfield

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One person is dead after an early-morning fire in Westfield.  We have learned that the cause of the fire was the improper disposal of a cigarette. 

Residents along Family Lane were quick to react when they realized a man was inside the home at the time of the fire. 

Neighbors said they heard the victim, a 64-year-old man, screaming inside of the home.  When neighbors woke up and realized what was happening, they say the house was already engulfed in flames. 

"The smoke and the fire was already so bad that we couldn't even attempt to try and get him out," said David Tremblay.

It was a quiet night on Family Lane in Westfield when neighbors said they smelled something burning. 

"I was kind of running around and checking things.  I came outside to find the smell was even stronger outside.  I noticed one of my neighbor's houses.  I saw smoke just billowing out of the side of the house. Within seconds, the house just ignited," said Tom Oleksak.

Oleksak knew that he needed to act and fast.  Without a cell phone in-hand, he quickly woke up his neighbors so they could call 9-1-1. 

"I was smashing on the door, ringing the doorbell, making as much noise as I could because they were sound asleep," Oleksak explained.

"Our neighbor came over and knocked on our door to get my wife and kids out.  I immediately called 911," Tremblay said.

Neighbors we spoke with said that they heard the 64-year-old man inside of the home screaming. 

"It's just tragic, it really is," Tremblay added.

According to the office of the State Fire Marshal. the fire started on the first floor of the home, on the living room couch. 

State police believe that the male victim was smoking on the couch and tried to make his way to the back of the home once the fire started, but was overcome by the smoke and heat. 

The victim was discovered in the kitchen area and was transported to Baystate Noble Hospital, where he later died.
Neighbors said that the male victim has been part of the Family Lane community for years. 

"He was really handy...always working on people's engines and cars.  He was a tinkerer, always out in his yard and fixing things for people," Tremblay said.

The identity of the victim has yet to be released. 

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