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Smoking materials blamed for massive Massachusetts blaze

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — The State Fire Marshal’s Office says the improper disposal of smoking materials led to a massive fire in Massachusetts that destroyed three multifamily homes and damaged several other buildings.

Officials say the fire started around 3:30 p.m. Sunday when a resident tossed smoking materials near a side entrance of a building in Lawrence. Dry vegetation caught fire, which quickly spread to the exterior of the building.

Officials say 64 residents have been displaced due to the fire that sent three firefighters and one civilian to the hospital with minor injuries.

Damages are estimated at more than $1 million.

The Red Cross is helping those who have been displaced.

Fire departments from 23 other communities assisted in putting out the blaze.

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