The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal has deemed the cause of a Falmouth house fire on April 12 that resulted in the death of the resident to be electrical.
In a statement released Monday, June 15, Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the fire at 663 Gifford Street started in the victim’s first floor bedroom, and investigators determined an electrical malfunction started the blaze. All other possible causes were ruled out, he said.
The fire claimed the life of Mary Jo Nelson, 67, who lived in the single-family home. She was a lifelong Falmouth resident. The fire was reported at 5:15 PM. Firefighters found and removed Ms. Nelson from the home. The fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes.
There were no working smoke alarms found in the home. “The only smoke alarm we found was a nonfunctioning one resting on top of an oil tank in the basement,” Falmouth Fire Chief Michael F. Small said.
“Falmouth had two fatal fires in April that took the lives of two older adults. Our hearts go out to both families. We ask every resident to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home,” he said.
The cause of the other fatal fire that occurred, on April 22 at 1 Crystal Spring Avenue, was smoking. One of the residents, Beverly J. Marshall, 82, was rescued from the fire but later died at a Boston hospital.
Ms. Nelson was the 11th of 13 children and was living in the 1900-built family home where she and her siblings grew up. It was the epicenter for family gatherings and Ms. Nelson loved bringing the family together said her niece, Lynn Raymond. She did not have children, but treated her numerous nieces and nephews like they were hers, Ms. Raymond said.
“She was a second mom to a lot of us,” she said. “She is a huge part of all of our childhood memories. She was an amazing, vivacious lady and had so much to offer.”