Fire investigators have concluded that a fire that killed six people in a Portland, Maine, apartment house was an accident caused by improper disposal of smoking materials.
Officials said Wednesday that a plastic smoking receptacle where the fire started was placed on a combustible wooden porch, near flammable items such as recycling containers and furniture. There were no working smoke detectors to warn residents when flames spread to the house.
The fire started early on Nov. 1 after a Halloween party the night before.
It killed Portland residents Nicole Finlay, David Bragdon Jr., Ashley Thomas and Christopher Conlee, Topsham resident Maelisha Jackson and Rockland resident Steven Summers. Several others escaped.
The fire was the deadliest blaze in 40 years in the state. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the investigation.