DANGER: Smoking inside house leads to two recent Shelton fires

Shelton Fire Marshal James Tortora has a direct message for people who smoke.

“Smoke outside or quit,” Tortora said on Monday, after firefighters responded to the second house fire in less than a week that apparently was caused by smoking.

“No one should smoke in bed or in a chair or couch,” Tortora said. “They should dispose of cigarette ashes appropriately.”

He said these safety rules are especially important if someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is extremely tired.

One fire caused man’s death

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, an early evening fire at 593 Howe Ave. led to the death of a 52-year-old occupant.

The fire —in a multifamily house only about a quarter mile from the massive Jan. 6 blaze in Shelton's central business district — is believed to have started in the couch of the first-floor apartment. It  likely was caused by “misuse of smoking materials,” according to Tortora.

The victim is believed to have fallen asleep on the couch.

On Monday, Jan. 27, a mattress caught fire in a bedroom at 9 Blueberry Lane. An occupant apparently fell asleep in bed with a lit cigarette.

No one was hurt and the fire was contained in the Blueberry Lane incident.