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Investigators: House fire that claimed veteran’s life appears accidental

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Featured: News, News, Police & Fire

Don MacNeill

Don MacNeill died in the Easter morning house fire on Hayward Street. FILE PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

Sunday morning’s two-alarm fire that caused the death of a man and a dog and sent a woman to the hospital “does not appear suspicious,” according to a statement from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“The joint investigation by the Hopkinton Fire Department and State Police assigned to the offices of the State Fire Marshal and Middlesex District Attorney determined that the fire began in the area of the front porch,” the statement reads. “While the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation, the potential factors that have been identified are all accidental and there is no evidence that it was intentionally set.”

“We know that there were no working smoke alarms at the scene,” said Hopkinton Fire Chief Bill Miller. “Every household needs working smoke alarms on every level of the home. If they take alkaline batteries, change the batteries twice a year and replace the alarm itself after 10 years. When purchasing a replacement, choose photoelectric alarms that have a sealed, long-life battery and a hush feature. Test them every month to be sure you and your family are protected.”

While officials have not released the victim’s name, the home was owned by Don MacNeill and his wife, Judith, and acquaintances confirmed that MacNeill perished in the blaze. A former Marine, MacNeill was very active in veterans affairs. He was a leader of Old Guard New England, which performed military salutes at events in the area, and a longtime member of Hopkinton’s Veterans Celebration Committee.


  1. Brendan Tedstone

    Don was a good man. To the soul. He did much for the Vets and seniors. Was a friend to the FD and PD as well. Rest easy bud.

    • Wako Johnson

      Don was a good man he would go out of his way to help out a neighbor Don may you rest in peace my friend

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