Second victim identified as deadly New Bedford fire deemed accidental, officials say

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Officials identified the second victim in Tuesday’s rooming house fire that claimed the life of two New Bedford residents and determined the cause likely involved a common household appliance.

The second victim has been identified as 63-year-old Wayne Bourdon.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office says the flames started in Room 205, located at the left rear of the second floor of the rooming home. After a thorough investigation, officials say the probable cause for the fire was the use of a microwave or the wall outlet it was plugged into.

The blaze started on Tuesday around 3:15 p.m. on Acushnet Ave, and it took crews hours to contain the flames. Residents were hanging from the windows and jumping from the building to escape the smoke and fire, according to fire officials.

In addition to Bourdon, 59-year-old Manuel Moreira died in the fire. Five additional people were hospitalized and all residents in the building have been displaced.

“Our thoughts are still with the families who lost loved ones, the residents who were injured, and those who lost all their belongings,” said Chief Kruger.

“Electrical fires are the second-leading cause of residential fire deaths in Massachusetts,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “Appliances that generate heat, like microwaves and toasters, should always be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Don’t use them if the device or the cord is damaged. And call an electrician if outlets are warm, discolored, or loose – these are signs that the outlet is not safe to use.”

The building is a total loss. The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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