NH fire marshal ID's 87-year-old man as victim of fire at home with hoarding conditions
Written by NH1.com on .
NORTH HAMPTON — Police and fire officials have identified the victim of a deadly fire that occurred Tuesday afternoon and said hoarding conditions in the home blocked all exits except one near where the fire started.
The New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy Wednesday and identified the victim as 87-year-old William Kelson, of North Hampton. The cause of death was smoke inhalation and the manner of death ruled accidental.
North Hampton fire chief Michael Tully said firefighters were alerted about 1:13 Tuesday afternoon to a fire at 35 Cedar Road.
"We got a call for a house on fire across from the First Student bus garage on Cedar Road. The first crew got there at 1:16," Tully said.
Tully said there was heavy fire showing on the Cedar Road side of the home and "heavy smoke condition."
"We showed up with the three guys we run with full-staffing," Tully said. "We were familiar with the house."
The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire started in the living room because of an overloaded and a non-grounded electrical outlet. Due to hoarding conditions in the home, there was only one usable doorway that could be used as an exit. The fire started near this door and quickly blocked any means of escape for the homeowner. No smoke alarms were located in the home.
State Fire Marshal Bill Degnan and Tully are reminding the public that working smoke alarms save lives, and that hoarding conditions create serious safety issues.
They are asking the public that if they know of anyone, especially the elderly, who live in hoarding conditions, to contact the local health department and social services to assist the person and provide improved fire and health safety.