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Police & Fire

Cause Of Blaze At Firefighter's Home Determined

Fire at Runaway Brook Road
Fire at Runaway Brook Road Photo Credit: Ryan Shea with Charge the Line Photography

The cause of a fire at a local firefighter's home has been determined.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Massachusetts Fire Marshal’s Office said that officials had discovered the cause of a Feb. 18 house fire at 26 Runaway Brook Road in Lancaster.

Lancaster Fire Chief Michael Hanson said the cause was the failure of the woodstove pipe. The fire began while residents Charles Dunnigan and Leila Wendler were out at a store.

According to firefighters, the stovepipe connected to a woodstove allowed heat and gases to escape into the pipe chase, which ignited.

The home is considered a total loss, the Fire Marshal’s Office said.

While putting out the four-alarm Runaway Brook Road blaze, two firefighters received minor injuries.

The home was occupied by a local firefighter who had only recently moved into the building, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported.

Extinguishing the blaze was difficult due to a lack of available water, Sterling Fire Department said. In addition to Lancaster and Sterling firefighters, Acton and Holden members also answered the call.

Neighbors are currently raising funds to help Dunnigan and Wendler recover.

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