April 06, 2020

Careless smoking blamed for fatal Grand Isle fire

GRAND ISLE — Careless disposal of smoking materials has been listed as the most probable cause for a New Year’s Day fire that killed an elderly woman in Lille village.

Christine Devost, 78, died when a fire tore through her 2 1/2-story Main Street home about 11:30 p.m. Devost’s body in a first-floor hallway.

The house was equipped with a smoke detector, but it did not have a battery. Fire officials believe Devost was overcome by smoke while trying to escape from the burning house. Her dog also died.

Fire investigators last Friday had determined that the fire originated in the kitchen. Monday, Investigator Tim Lowell reported that careless disposal of smoking materials was the most probable cause.

Exactly where in the kitchen the fire started, he said, could not be determined because the kitchen was destroyed.

The first floor of the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters first arrived, and heavy smoke was coming from the house, according to Fire Chief Daniel Dionne.

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