A fatal fire in Hanson was caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials, officials said today.

The May 4 fire at 165 Pennsylvania Avenue took the life of Margaret O’Toole-Driscoll, age 58. Her husband and two children were able to escape unharmed. The log cabin style home was a total loss and a dog also died in the blaze. The fire originated on the front porch, which is where the woman commonly smoked. There was evidence of frequent smoking on the porch, an investigation found.

Firefighters responded to a call at 9:11 p.m. and began to extinguish the fire while searching the house for the missing woman. They were beaten back by intense heat and flames, according to a statement by Hanson Fire Chief Jerome A. Thompson Jr., Police Chief Michael Miksch, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz, and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.

“This fire is such a terrible tragedy for the family. I know I speak for the whole Hanson community when I say our hearts go out to them and we offer our deepest condolences,” Chief Thompson said.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said nearly forty percent of the 21 fire deaths in Massachusetts so far this year have been caused by smoking. "So often, it is not just the smoker who is hurt,” he said. “Please be a responsible smoker. Use a can with sand or water to safely dispose of smoking materials. Remember: Put it Out. All the Way. Every Time.”

The fire was investigated by the Hanson fire and police departments and by state police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of the Plymouth District Attorney.

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