By Associated Press - Monday, October 26, 2015

MILLBURY, Mass. (AP) - Officials say a sprinkler system could have saved the life of a 56-year-old Massachusetts woman, who died after a fire in a five-story public housing complex.

The Telegram & Gazette reports ( ) the office of District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. says Deborah McNamara was found unresponsive Saturday night in a unit of the Centerview Apartments in Millbury, located about five miles south of Worcester.

Fire Chief Richard Hamilton says the Housing Authority building for seniors and people with disabilities has one sprinkler- located near a trash compactor in the basement. The disabled woman died in her third-floor bedroom after apparently falling asleep while smoking.

Hamilton says the building fell under the 75-foot height limit that would have required it to install sprinklers retroactively, which could have cost millions.


Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.),

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