Report: Discarded cigarette ash caused two Shelton house fires

SHELTON — Two separate house fires this week were both caused by hot ashes from discarded cigarettes, according to the fire marshal’s office.

Fire Marshal James Tortora announced the cause of the fires at 60 Perry Ave. and 10-12 Maple St. on Monday. The Perry Avenue fire left three families displaced, while the blaze that gutted the Maple Street home forced two families to be relocated. All families received Red Cross assistance.

On April 1, more than 50 firefighters — including all four Shelton fire companies and an engine and ladder truck from Derby — responded to the multi-family home on Maple Street just before 7 p.m. and noticed heavy fire in the rear of the second and third floors.

Members were able to confine all hidden pockets of fire in the space between the apartment ceiling and the roof, known as the cockloft, and within the structure. Firefighters used multiple attack lines to control the blaze within 45 minutes, Deputy Fire Chief Paul Wilson said.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury during the fire, Wilson said. The firefighter was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation on Friday. He is now “doing well at home,” Wilson said.

Howe Avenue was closed while crews worked at the scene. Firefighters left the incident at around 10 p.m., according to Wilson.

Tortora determined “the fire started on a second floor outside stair and was caused by hot ashes of a discarded cigarette.”

The Perry Avenue house fire was March 28, with three Shelton fire departments responding about 5:15 p.m.

Upon arrival firefighters found a fire in an exterior porch on the third floor of the three-story, three-family apartment house, Wilson said. The fire was brought under control within 30 minutes.

Tortora’s investigation found “the fire started in the third-floor exterior porch and the cause was hot ashes from a discarded cigarette.”