Donald Palma Jr., Chief of Police
99 Pleasant Street
Groton MA 01450
Groton Fire Department
Steele McCurdy, Fire Chief
99 Pleasant St.,
Groton, MA 01450
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Fire Pit Ruled as Cause of Old Dunstable Road Fire in Groton
GROTON — Fire Chief Steele McCurdy, Groton Police Chief Donald Palma, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced the most probable cause of Wednesday’s 4-alarm fire at 293 Old Dunstable Road was an outdoor fire pit. No one was home at the time of the fire and no was injured.
Investigators determined the fire started in the fire pit, spread to the nearby woods, then to the garage and ultimately the house itself. Over three acres of woodland burned. The homeowner had been cooking in the makeshift fire pit recently.
“Just like with woodstove ashes, a live ember can stay hot undetected for several days and be fanned to life by a breeze. It is extremely important to thoroughly extinguish outdoor fires with water and or dirt,” Chief McCurdy said. “This is the second fire we have had in Groton this year where outdoor burning spread to a building.”
The fire was jointly investigated by the Groton Fire Department, the Groton Police Department, State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Massachusetts District 7 Fire Warden.
The fire department was first called for an odor of smoke by a Star House Lane resident some three-quarters of a mile away from Old Dunstable Road. The fire department quickly located the actual fire location. When they arrived, the woods and the garage were already on fire and they managed to stop the fire from engulfing the entire home.