The Wednesday evening fire at a multifamily home in downtown Shelton most likely was caused by “misuse of smoking materials,” according to Shelton Fire Marshal James Tortora.

Tortora said Thursday morning the cause will be classified as “accidental.”

Investigators from the city and state fire marshal’s office were at the scene at 593 Howe Ave. until 1 a.m. Thursday morning. The fire was first reported at slightly past 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

The structure is two-and-a-half stories high, with apartments on three levels (including the basement). It is on Howe Avenue near Wooster Street North, on the side facing the railroad tracks and Housatonic River.

Fire started on the first floor

The blaze started in the first-floor living room, Tortora said. It led to the death of Michael Boroski, 52, who was carried out of the first-floor unit by firefighters, suffering from serious burn and smoke injuries. He later died in the hospital.

Four other occupants were able to escape from a second-floor apartment with the help of a firefighter who had spotted the fire while in the area on personal business.

Physical damage is ‘repairable’

Tortora said damage to the residential structure was mostly limited to the first-floor unit. “It’s repairable,” he said.

He said there was slight damage to the basement apartment and no damage to the second-floor apartment.

He estimated the cost of repairing the damage at $100,000.