Fire chief urges community to check smoke detectors in wake of fatal fire

DOUGLAS, Mass. (WLNE)– A fire Tuesday night on Glen Street in Douglas claimed the life of a 62-year-old man.

Fire Chief Kent Vinson said there were no smoke detectors in the home, and he hopes the community can learn from the tragedy.

He said smoke detectors should be checked at least once a year.

“On November 1, we change the clock, change the battery,” Vinton said. “The two times a year we change the clock we like people to check their batteries and replace them.”

And it isn’t just smoke detectors– Vinson said carbon monoxide detectors should be checked as well.

“We want to drive the importance of that home,” Vinson said.  “It’s important especially with the heating season just starting people are starting wood stoves, their heaters and furnaces, and things like that.”

On Wednesday, family and friends have continued to gather at the home of Keith Bemis, the victim in the fire, to drop off flowers and pay respects.

Bemis was remembered as as a homebody who lived a simple life.

Rachel Perkins, a friend and longtime neighbor, said Bemis had suffered from a back injury that left him disabled.

“He’s had kind of a little more than most people had to deal with– and then to have it end like this,” Perkins said. “And he’s lived through a lot.”

Perkins said Bemis was a man “with a heart of gold.”

Massachusetts State Police, the state fire marshal, and the district attorney’s office continue to investigate the cause of the fire.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020




Categories: Massachusetts, News, Regional News