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Fire officials: Hoarding caused fatal Wayland fire

March 3, 2012
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WAYLAND, Mass.—Authorities are blaming excessive hoarding for the death of an elderly man in a house fire in Wayland.

Fire officials say a large load of material piled on top of an extension cord caused it to fail to dissipate heat into the air, sparking a fire at the home.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan says the blaze killed an elderly man who lived alone in the Gage Road home Friday.

Investigators determined that the fire started in the basement and the cause was an extension cord that may have been overloaded.

Coan and Wayland Fire Chief Vincent Smith say hoarding made emergency escape from the home nearly impossible. It also made it difficult for firefighters enter the home, search the place and put out the blaze.

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