Smoking cause of Newton fire that left woman dead


NEWTON, Mass. ( – Officials said Tuesday that smoking is believed to be the cause of last Friday's deadly fire in Newton.

The fire broke out at a home at 30-32 Rowe Street. Officials said the fire started on the porch, where it was largely confined.

The Medical Examiner's Office will be making the formal identification of the victim and determining the cause and manner of death.

"Sadly, this fire took the life of elderly woman who investigators believe was smoking on the porch," Newton Fire Chief Bruce Proia said.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said it was a terrible weekend for fatal fires.

"While smoking fires and related deaths are declining in Massachusetts, smoking caused 14 percent of home fire deaths in 2012," he said.