Arson Confirmed in Copley Street Fire
A Copley Street house was destroyed on May 18 by a three-alarm fire.
Updated: 8:20 a.m.
Officials confirmed the three-alarm fire that engulfed a Copley Street home May 18 was arson.
Jim Covino and his two daughters were awoken by the smoke detectors and escaped without any injuries, according to Fox 25 News. He told firefighters on scene he originally thought the alarm was false, but once he smelled the smoke and saw the fire coming from the front doors, that's when he retrieved his 9- and 13-year-old girls.
Firefighters from the Arlington, Stoneham, Winchester and Woburn departments responded to the call at 5:19 a.m. and battled the blaze for an hour and a half before it was put down.
“There was an aggressive interior fight which prevented damage to the new addition to the house," Winchester Fire Chief John Nash said. "The part that burned is about 100 years old."
The investigator reported the fire was started on the front porch close to the front doors, which remained intact and closed. He said an aged, dry holiday wreath hanging on the door caused sufficient fuel to ignite the siding of the house and surrounding surfaces. These combined combustible materials made it easy for the fire to reach a heat level to climb the porch ceiling and then spread along the house.
Fire investigators said in the report although there isn't information on what material ignited the fire, they do believe there was human action involved and asked law inforcement to step in.
Reports show the fire caused $1 million worth of damage to the home and another $250,000 in household content. Covino told 7News although the house is demolished, he would rebuild it.
The fire is under investigation by the Winchester Police Department, State Fire Marshall’s Office and Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. No arrests have been made as of now.
The original report and investigator's notes concluding the fire was arson are attached in a PDF.
Check back with Winchester Patch for more updates on this story.
Editor's Note: Kim Covino said the "holiday wreath" was natural pine garland from Christmas twisted in lights she hadn't unwrapped yet. The coil was on the floor of the front porch to the left of the front door. "That's what ignited the fire, I think."