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A Deerfield firefighter examines the remains of a shed that housed a 58-year-old man who died in an early-Thursday morning fire. (RYAN O'CONNOR/Union Leader Correspondent)

Officials: Smoking likely led to fatal Deerfield shed fire

DEERFIELD — Richard Shavel, 58, has been identified as the man killed in a shed fire early Thursday morning.

An autopsy conducted by the Chief Medical Examiner’s office Wednesday found his cause of death was smoke inhalation from the fire in the small structure at 72 Nottingham Road.

According to a release from Thomas J. Riley, investigator for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Shavel’s smoking habits likely led to the blaze, which Deerfield firefighters responded to around 4:15 a.m. Thursday.

The report indicates the shed had been converted into a year-round living space, which was close to one of the main residences on the property.

Firefighters were able to rescue the occupant of that home, James Ricci, and prevent the house from catching fire, but the shed was already engulfed when firefighters arrived. After quickly extinguishing the flames, emergency responders discovered Shavel’s body inside.


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