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Report cites cause of Egerton fire; more than $39K raised

Rear of 30-32 Egerton May 29, 2021. / Ben Lindner photoRear of 30-32 Egerton May 29. / Ben Lindner photo

UPDATED, June 8: A blaze started by improper disposal of a cigarette destroyed a two-family home at 30-32 Egerton St., on Saturday, May 29, displacing five people, including the family of Bobby Noviello, Gibbs School head custodian.

Fire Chief Kevin Kelley reported the cause Monday, June 7, without further explanation, in response to a query from YourArlington. On Tuesday, June 1, estimated damage to the East Arlington home at $600,000 and that four adults and one child are displaced. No one was injured.

Asked about where the fire started and the time frame for the investigation, Kelley said: "Fire appears to have started on the back porch," and he has not yet spoken with the investigator.

Meanwhile, two fund-raisers total $39,806 as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 8.

Kelley said the first of three alarms was called in at 4:09 p.m. May 29. An estimated 40 firefighters were involved.

Companies participating were those from Arlington (E1, E2, E3, L1, R1, C1 and C2) as well as mutual did from Cambridge, Medford, Somerville, Belmont, Lexington and Winchester.

Town property records show that 30 Egerton Road, owned by Melissa Noviello, is assessed at $911,100.

The description of those displaced updates an earlier report from the Red Cross.

See more photos >> | See Diggins' videos (scroll down) >>

Immediately after the fire, Alexa Arsenault organized a GoFundMe campaign, writing, "Please consider donating to my best friend and her family who just lost their home in a house fire. Anything helps!" That campaign had raised $22,375 by June 8, beyond its $20,000 goal.

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Skye Smith has organized a second GoFundMe for Noviello/Primmer family. On June 8, $17,431, over the $15,000 goal, had been raised.

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See May 29 video, uploaded by FireSpark857:

Gina Furtado reported May 30, that the three-alarm fire struck the home of Noviello. "Everyone got out safely, but the home is a complete loss," she wrote to the Arlington email list. "Bobby and his family are staying with family right now but they have lost everything. Funds are being collected to help the family with this horrific loss. No amount is too small. To donate please do one of the following:

"1. Venmo Kelly O'Keefe (Gibbs Teacher) @KellyOKeefe715

"2. Send a check to Kelly O'Keefe at Gibbs School.

"3. Place Cash in an envelope and leave it in my mailbox. I'd like to present the family with our donation as soon as possible."

A report has been requested from the fire chief.

Kelley issues warning

Kelley urged residents to take precautions after a recent spate of blazes, YourArlington partner Patch reported June 5.

In a June 3 notice on the town website, he said that the May 29 fire Egerton Road "was the third fire in as many weeks, and I want to thank the women and men of the Arlington Fire Department for their continued diligence in how they respond and suppress fire.

"Although there is no commonality found from this fire with two recent fires, these incidents serve as a reminder to be sure you have good working smoke detectors in your home as well as having an evacuation plan."

Additional safety measures include having emergency phone numbers handy, practicing fire drills at home and ensuring the proper disposal of cigarettes. With grilling season underway, residents are reminded that grills are prohibited on apartment or condominium balconies, as well as anywhere above the first floor of any home.

Fire officials recommend that all barbecue grills be placed on ground level at least 15 feet from any combustible, such as wooden porches, siding, decks, sliding glass doors or open windows. They should also be protected from being accidentally knocked over by children playing. Read additional fire safety tips and frequently asked questions at

May 30, 2021: Egerton house fire displaces 5

This news summary was published Tuesday, June 1, 2021, and updated June 3, including an additional video, as well as June 5, to add warning. and June 6-8.

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