Update

Victim ‘responsible’ for fatal Tiverton fire, officials say

Remembered as gentle soul, wonderful son, brother

Posted 9/3/20

TIVERTON — Investigators have concluded that the Tiverton fire that destroyed a Church Pond Road house and killed the sole occupant was caused by the victim himself.

The State Fire Marshal …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Update

Victim ‘responsible’ for fatal Tiverton fire, officials say

Remembered as gentle soul, wonderful son, brother

Posted

TIVERTON — Investigators have concluded that the Tiverton fire that destroyed a Church Pond Road house and killed the sole occupant was caused by the victim himself.

The State Fire Marshal issued this statement Wednesday evening:

“On Monday August 28, 2020, investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal responded to a fire at 197 Church Pond Road Tiverton. The fire involved a single-family dwelling. One occupant was removed by fire personnel and transported to St. Ann’s Hospital in Fall River where he was pronounced dead. The victim was identified as 27-year-old Mark Bassaly.

“The cause of the fire was investigated by members of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Tiverton Police and Tiverton Fire Department.  Information and evidence gathered during the course of the investigation indicates the victim, Mark Bassaly, was responsible for the cause of this fire.”

“The cause of the fire was investigated by members of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Tiverton Police and Tiverton Fire Department.  Information and evidence gathered during the course of the investigation indicates the victim, Mark Bassaly, was responsible for the cause of this fire,” the state Fire Marshal’s Office stated.

Tiverton High graduate

“Our beloved Mark was taken from us suddenly and tragically yesterday,” parents Emad and Mary Bassaly wrote in a Facebook post. All who knew him will remember him as a gentle soul. A boy who loves food, music and car rides. He loved his family and was well-known in his community. It is hard to believe this has happened and we do not know what life will look like from now on. He was a wonderful son, brother, cousin and friend. He is now with God and the Angels in Heaven where he belongs. We did not deserve him.”

His obituary said that he was, “A proud graduate of Tiverton High School, class of 2012, he was also a member of the YMCA of Middletown and an active participant of the Special Olympics where he played many games of basketball.”

“He also enjoyed Zumba, listening to the Beach Boys on his iPod, and going to Grinnell's beach with his dad to enjoy the sand, sun and water. He loved car rides, air planes, and traveling with his family. His sense of humor was indescribable and those who knew him well can attest to his fun-loving spirit and his ability to always put a smile on your face.”

Besides his parents, he leaves his loving sister, Mary Bassaly of Tiverton and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

‘It’s tragic’

State Fire Marshall Tim McLaughlin told the Fall River Herald that cameras in the house showed Mr. Bassaly walk into the family room at the rear of the house carrying what appeared to be a flaming pillow. 

The video shows him set the pillow on the couch and sit down beside it. Soon, the couch had ignited, then the carpet and furniture and thick smoke began filling the room. Mr. Bassaly is then seen leaving the room.

“Once it got going, the fire had nowhere to go but up” into the cathedral ceiling, Mr. McLaughlin told the newspaper. “It went relatively fast. All the furniture caught on fire and it filled up fast” with smoke. “It’s tragic.”

A fire alarm went off, alerting the Fire Department. And Mr. Bassaly’s father Emad, who had reportedly been out for a walk nearby, also arrived at the house.

Town tax assessment indicate that the family of four had lived there since 1993 and that the five-bedroom house was assessed at $725,000.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.