Multiple January Fires Unrelated, New Bedford (MA) Fire Chief Says

The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass.

(MCT)

Feb. 1—NEW BEDFORD— New Bedford Fire Chief Scott Krugerand State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the Jan. 27 fire at 124 Bonney St. in New Bedford was a case of arson, but that the other fires in the city over the course of a week are unrelated.

The New Bedfordfire and police departments and Massachusetts State Policeassigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshaljointly investigated the Bonney Streetfire.

“There have been several major fires lately in our city besides this one but there is no connection between them,” Kruger said in the Jan. 29statement. “This is the only fire that was intentionally set. The improper disposal of smoking materials caused one. Several are still under investigation with the State Fire Marshal’s Office.”

On Saturday, Jan. 23at around 1:30 p.m., a single-family residence at 2 Smith Street Courtcaught fire, with the fire starting on the exterior, according to the New BedfordFire Department Facebook page.

On Sunday, Jan. 24, city fire crews battled a three-alarm fire around 2 a.m.at 95 Rivet St., a three-story mixed occupancy building with a former restaurant on the first floor.

On Monday, Jan. 25at around 5:30 p.m., crews responded to another structure fire at 340 Purchase St., an abandoned building, WJAR reported.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27at around 12:08 a.m., a vacant three-story dwelling at 124 Bonney St.caught fire, which local and state fire officials have since concluded was arson.

On Friday, Jan. 29shortly after noon, the department responded to a structure fire at 377 Ashley Blvd.that displaced 10 residents.

“January is often the month when we experience more fires from a variety of causes. As we head into the hardest part of the winter, we tax our heating and electrical systems and spend more time indoors,” Kruger said. “It is more important than ever to make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level that are less than 10 years old, and have a home escape plan.”

Since issuing a statement last week, another fire occurred around 8:30 p.m.on Saturday, Jan. 30at Pope’s Island Marina. Crews located a 30-foot pleasure craft in flames and cut loose from its mooring by bystanders to save adjacent vessels, according to the department.

The craft is a “total loss” and is being investigated by the city’s investigative unit. However, the department stated Sunday it appears to be accidental.

Anyone with information about the Bonney Streetfire, or any fire in the state, is asked to confidentially call the fire office at 1-800-682-9229.

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