FITCHBURG -- Supporters of Jeremiah Oliver are requesting no more candles from well-wishers after a fire broke out last night at the slain Fitchburg boy's tribute site.
Fitchburg Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Dateo said shortly after midnight on Monday morning they responded to an outdoor fire at the tribute site on Kimball Street. A neighbor had made a failed attempt to put out the fire and firefighters put it out, along with the other candles in the tribute.
Dateo said it appears that some people had just lit some candles and walked away before the fire flared up and became a problem.
Miguel Fleitas, a volunteer who has helped lead several community projects for 5-year-old Jeremiah, said a memorial candle burned through its own base and melted a large chunk of the plastic table under it. Stuffed animals are part of the tribute, but none of them caught fire.
A charred circle that resemble a spent campfire can still be seen at the tribute site. Volunteers have folded up the damaged table and cleared away all the candles, but some like Judy Reardon of Fitchburg are discouraging people from placing more open flames at the tribute.
"I want no more candles here," said Reardon. She said she found another candle mixed in with the stuffed animals, but it wasn't lit.
"I don't want to see them go up in flames either," she said. She was at the tribute site for a vigil Sunday night, but left before the fire broke out.
While some supporters of Jeremiah Oliver heard a rumor that a neighbor was injured trying to extinguish the fire, Dateo said the report mentions no injuries. He was not on duty during the fire, but double-checked with the department's ambulance service Monday morning and confirmed there were no known injuries.
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