The fire that killed 74-year-old Frances Lysonski and injured a firefighter in Pittsfield last week was caused by the improper discarding of smoking materials. After being rescued from her 73 Chickering Street home on July 6th, Lysonski was taken to Berkshire Medical Center, where she died a short time later.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that according to the state Department of Fire Services, the fire began in a plastic trash barrel on the first floor of the home. Authorities found several packs of cigarettes and matches near where the fire originated.

The Pittsfield Police and Fire departments, the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, and the state Fire Marshal all took part in the investigation of the fire. It was determined tat the home had no working smoke alarm and the two that were present had dead batteries and should have been replaced long ago.

According to Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey, the state has seen three fatal fires this year in which smoke alarms have been expired. He says that smoke alarms do expire and should be replaced every 10 years.

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