Monday April 2, 2012
PITTSFIELD - The early morning Pittsfield house fire that left a city woman dead on Sunday was caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials in the victim's apartment, according to an investigation by local and state officials.
In a written statement, the Berkshire District Attorney's office said on Monday that the fire at 91-93 Orchard Street appeared to be accidental.
Claudette Roberts, 59, was found dead in her first-floor apartment, officials said. Three adults and one child were rescued - uninjured - from the other two apartments in the three-family dwelling.
The fire broke out sometime before 4:15 a.m. on Sunday. Roberts' body has been taken to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston where an autopsy will be performed. The autopsy was expected to take place Monday, according to authorities.
The investigation is being conducted by the state Fire Marshal's office, as well as the Pittsfield Fire Department and the Pittsfield Police department.