Cause of fatal New Britain house fire determined

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NEW BRITAIN – The Fire Department has determined the cause of a fatal fire on Schultz Street on Saturday, November 28, to be an accidental fire due to improperly discarded smoking materials.

The deadly fire took the life of Michael Tocoinis, 56, and caused heavy damage to the front porch of the house. Tocoinis was the sole occupant of the home.

A neighbor called the fire in just after 7:15 p.m. and crews arrived less than 10 minutes later. The fire was out just before 10 p.m.

The department is reminding residents to be mindful when disposing of smoking materials, as well as using candles, after investigators determined the cause of another recent house fire on Stanley Street on Friday, November 27.

That fire, which caused heavy damage to the house and caused burns to the arms of the occupant, was determined to be an accidental fire due to an unattended candle.

The department advises to never leave candles unattended, dispose of all smoking materials in a non-combustible container, and make sure all homes have working smoke alarms on all floor levels, with two ways out and a practiced home escape plan.