ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — While the official cause of an early morning house fire in Attleboro is still under investigation, the homeowner says his grandson is blaming himself.
The 82-year-old Gordon Clark told Eyewitness News his grandson thinks a cigarette he discarded started the fire inside Clark’s East Bacon Street home.
Officials said the pair tried putting the fire out with a garden hose and they thought they had the situation under control when they called the fire department just before 4 a.m. Monday. But, it wasn’t.
“The first arriving company found heavy smoke in the second floor. We opened up the walls and found fire had already entered the walls that appeared to have been burning for some time,” said Attleboro Deputy Chief John Guenette.
Flames were shooting from the roof, and the second floor collapsed. A firefighter also burned his hand battling the flames, Guenette said.
Clark, his wife and his grandson all made it out of the home safely.
Neighbors told Eyewitness News they felt horrible.
“Very, very nice people. Gordon and Dorris Clark. And it makes you wonder why bad things happen to good people,” said neighbor Virginia Entwistle.
Despite all of the damage, the family was able to save some of their belongings, including photos and some clothes.
Clark said he’s planning to stay with one of his five children until he figures out what to do about his house.