Hoarding conditions cited in North Hampton fire death

July 28, 2017

 As Seen on Season Coast Line



"NORTH HAMPTON — Officials identified the man who died Tuesday in a fire at his Cedar Road home. They also said hoarding conditions and a lack of smoke alarms are considered factors in the fatality.


William Kelson, 87, of 35 Cedar Road, died from smoke inhalation, according to the chief medical examiner’s office in Concord. The fire, determined to be accidental by the state fire marshal’s office, took place around 1 p.m. July 18, when firefighters found Kelson not breathing inside the home. Kelson was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital and authorities confirmed his death later that night. They withheld his name until Wednesday afternoon.


The fire originated in the living room of the home, caused by a failure in an overloaded electrical outlet that was not grounded, according to the state fire marshal’s office. Hoarding conditions in the home left only one usable doorway to exit the home, fire officials said. The fire started in close proximity to that door, blocking the means of escape for the homeowner.

No smoke alarms were located in the home, which is believed to have delayed Kelson from becoming aware of the fire. Fires double in size every minute, according to the fire marshal’s office.


“When a fire is detected by smoke alarms, occupants only have minutes to escape before being overcome by the effects of smoke,” the fire marshal’s office stated."





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