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E. Arlington woman identified in fatal apartment fire

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UPDATED, Oct. 4: A 76-year-old bedridden woman has been identified as the person fatally injured when a fire broke out in an Arlington residence last week, officials told The Boston Globe.

The victim, Margarita Tsugunyan, fell asleep while smoking in her bed, which she had placed in the living room of her residence at 20 Osborne Road on Saturday, Sept. 29, according to State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey’s office.

The town fire chief confirmed that fire crews responded to the first-floor apartment at 20 Osborne Road, near Thorndike Field, after a neighbor reported the blaze about 9 p.m. Officials said that the neighbor fought the flames with a garden hose until firefighters arrived.

Damage from the fire was contained mostly to the bedroom, she said. Smoke and water caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to the building.

Two second-floor tenants were displaced as a result of the fire, officials reported.

The incident is under investigation by local and state officials. 

Fire Chief Robert Jefferson said Oct. 1 that the district attorney's office would release the identity of the woman, that the final report on the investigation and cause is forthcoming, and that all Arlington units responded to the fire while mutual-aid units covered the town. 

Police report

A police report about the incident says three town officers responded to 20 Osborne St. to investigate a report of a structure fire. On arrival, police saw smoke and flames coming from a room in the front of the house, on the first floor. Standing outside of the house was the homeowner, who said he lives on the second floor and his entire family was out of the house but he believed the tenant, on the first floor, to still be in the house.

An officer attempted to gain entry via the front door but observed the front living room to be entirely engulfed by flames and thick black smoke. The officer yelled several times to attempt to make contact, with the party with negative results.

The officer then attempted to make entry through a rear door, but the smoke was too thick. The home's owner began using a garden hose to attempt to knock down the flames.

Arlington fire personnel arrived on scene at this time, with Deputy Kevin Kelley in charge. They were able to extinguish what remained of the fire and declared the woman they found deceased.

Police made contact with the Medical Examiner's Office, who advised they would be taking the case. CPAC also advised they would be accepting the case as Troopers Mark Delaney and Sheryl O'Donnell arrived on scene. Matthew Picardi, Compliance Officer with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, responded to the scene.

APD inspectors James Smith and Edward DeFrancisco arrived to assist with the investigation. Photos of the scene were taken by Inspector DeFrancisco. Investigating for Arlington Fire was Lt. Robert Paone.

Inspectors Smith and DeFrancisco and Trooper Delaney were able to notify the next of kin, in person at her residence in Medford.


This news announcement was published Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, and updated the same day, as well as Oct. 2, to add a police report and Oct. 4, to identify victim.

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