Cigarette Is the Cause For Thursday Apt. Fire

24 July, 1992 (~estimated)

Cigarette Is the Cause For Thursday Apt. Fire

A cigarette that apparently fell from the hand of a sleeping tenant is being blamed for an apartment fire on Witherspoon Street Thursday morning that forced the evacuation of two families.

The fire was reported at 10:03 and when police and firemen arrived on the scene they requested a general alarm three minutes later. No one was injured.

According to Lt. Mario Musso, 65-year-old Maria deMartineo was smoking in a sofa bed in the downstairs apartment when she apparently fell asleep and the bed caught fire.

The area near the sofa bed sustained heavy fire damage, Lt. Musso said, and there was extensive smoke damage to the upstairs apartment. Two 14-year-old nephews of Ms. deMartinez who were visiting also escaped injury.

Because firemen had to turn off the electricity, the family living upstairs also had to be evacuated. Both were being assisted by Red Cross volunteers. Thirty volunteer firemen responded to the scene and had the fire under control at 10,20. They returned to their fire-houses an hour later.

A CIGARETTE CAUSED THIS: Firefighters from Princeton’s three companies confer outside an apartment house at 341 Witherspoon Street that caught fire Thursday morning and forced the evacuation of two families. A cigarette is being as the cause of the fire.


Staff photo by Mark Czajkowski

Fire damages apartments

A Princeton firefighter assists Maria Perez DeMartinez after she was chased from her Witherspoon Street apartment by a blaze Thursday morning. No one was hurt, but the building first floor sustained heavy damage.

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