Causes of 2 New Britain House Fires, 1 Deadly, Prompts Reminder About Fire Safety

New Britain fire officials are reminding residents to be mindful when using candles or disposing of smoking materials after investigators determined the causes of two recent house fires.

Improperly discarded smoking materials caused the deadly fire at 50 Schultz Street on Nov. 28 that killed resident Michael Tocoinis, 56, and heavily damaged the front porch, according to New Britain fire officials.

The day before, an unattended lit candle sparked a fire that heavily damaged a home at 2134 Stanley Street and burned the arms of the occupant, fire officials said.

Both fires were accidental.

To prevent fires like these from happening moving forward, New Britain firefighters remind residents not to leave candles lit unsupervised and to properly throw out smoking materials into a "non-combustible container."

Fire officials also urge people to having functioning smoke detectors on all floors and to have a practiced home escape plan with two ways to exit.

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