Hopkinton Fire Chief Bill Miller on Tuesday announced that the Easter morning house fire at 69 Hayward Street has claimed a second victim. Judith MacNeill died Monday night, Miller said. She had been hospitalized since being evacuated from the home. Her husband, Don MacNeill, also perished in the fire, as did their dog.
During Tuesday’s Select Board meeting, following a moment of silence for the family, Miller made an impassioned plea for residents to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes. The Hayward Street home did not have working smoke detectors, he said.
“The Town of Hopkinton hasn’t seen something like this ever that I can remember in its history. It was a tragic morning,” Miller said. “The staff of HFD and all our mutual aid companies did an outstanding job and the best that they could do with what we had at that time. … I want us to all learn from this. This is something that’s really serious. We talk about changing your batteries, we talk about checking your smoke detectors. Life expectancy is 10 years. Batteries are changed every six months when we do our clocks. We really need to do this. We need working smoke detectors. That’s our first line of defense, and that’s going to help all of us. So, please, I’m reaching out to the public, take a minute and do it.”
Miller said anyone who needs help acquiring or maintaining a smoke detector should reach out to the department for assistance.