State & Region Briefs

Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Smoking materials blamed for fatal Christmas Eve fire

ABINGTON — Authorities say improper disposal of smoking materials caused a deadly Christmas Eve fire at an elderly housing complex in Abington.

The Fire Marshal says the fire that killed 71-year old Stanley Simon in Abington started in an upholstered reclining chair in his den, and that he had been smoking cigars.

Simon was found dead in his third-floor apartment at the Chestnut Glen complex. Fire officials say the building has sprinklers in hallways but not apartments.

Four others in the building were treated for exposure to smoke, and 47 were temporarily removed from an adjacent building.

Fire officials say cigars aren’t required to meet state fire prevention standards that apply to cigarettes.

Police seek suspect in theft of $20,000 worth of comic books

SOUTHBOROUGH — Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man they say stole up to $20,000 worth of comic books.

Southborough police on Wednesday released a surveillance image of someone they say broke into The Hall of Comics store in the early-morning hours of Nov. 27.

Police say the bearded man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt stole about 175 comic books with an estimated value of between $15,000 and $20,000.

The surveillance image was taken from the Time Capsule store in Cranston, Rhode Island, where the suspect sold one of the stolen comics the next day.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to contact Southborough police.

Fireball lights up social media, evening sky in New England

A fireball that lit up the evening sky is lighting up social media.

The bright streak Tuesday evening was seen in parts of New England, including southern Maine and New Hampshire.

The Mount Agamenticus Conservation Program webcam on Mount Agamenticus in York County, Maine captured the event at 5:52 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Gray, Maine tweeted, “Did you see a fireball or meteor just now?”

One social media user tweeted that her parents in Wakefield, N.H., thought it was fireworks. Observers are being encouraged to report what they saw to the American Meteor Society website.

Holiday gift: Town gives snow plow trucks to another town in need

SANDISFIELD — A town at one end of the state has spread holiday cheer to a town at the other end that lost its entire snow-plowing fleet in a fire.

The Berkshire Eagle reports Quincy has given Sandisfield three used plow trucks that were delivered before Christmas.

Quincy’s mayor saw a report about the fire on a television news program and decided to donate the trucks. A spokesman for the mayor says the equipment otherwise would have been auctioned off as surplus.

Sandisfield Road Superintendent Bobby O’Brien says the trucks need a little work but are in good condition.

The state highway department and other cities also have pitched in to help, donating or lending equipment and assisting in plowing efforts.

From Associated Press