"Careless disposal" of a cigarette has been determined as the cause of a fire that destroyed the home of local funeral home director Wayne Brasco.
According to Waltham Fire Lt. Michael Murphy, disposal of the cigarette under the front porch of the house caused the flames, which ripped through the home.
"That’s what caught fire and that’s what started the fire in the house,” Murphy told Waltham Patch.
The fire, which rose up from the mulch the cigarette fell into, extended up into the porch, and then heat from the flames broke a window, allowing the fire to extended into the house, Murphy said. The home's "balloon frame" construction style was an aggravating factor of the fire, Murphy said. Basically, the studs that run from the ground up through the house create "channels" that help push the flames upward, much like smoke would rise up through a chimney.
“Once it got into those channels, it just spread rapidly,” Murphy said.
Murphy said balloon frame construction is no longer used in homes since it was replaced by more modern methods.
Firefighters, working with the state Fire Marshal's Office, found no evidence of the blaze being intentionally set, Murphy said. A K-9 dog searched for evidence of accelerants, but found nothing.
While the home is still standing, it remains uninhabitable after sustaining heavy fire and water damage, Murphy said. Siding on part of the funeral home, which sits next to the house, sustained minor damage, as did a Cadicallc sedan, Murphy said.
Also, a firefighter who injured his elbow during the fire has now returned to work, Murphy said.
Neither Wayne Brasco nor his son Paul, who grew up in the home could immediately be reached for comment.