A fatal fire in Lowell was accelerated by a man who poured vodka on the flames, prosecutors say

Authorities allege Eugene Newton, 42, also did not seek help.

A 42-year-old man is facing charges after prosecutors allege he poured vodka onto a fire in Lowell, which accelerated the spread of the blaze and led to flames engulfing and killing another man Thursday afternoon.

Eugene Newton was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.

A Lowell District Court judge on Friday ordered Newton be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for April 23.

Prosecutors say Newton poured vodka onto a fire on Pevey Street around 3:18 p.m.

“The alcohol caused the fire to significantly accelerate and to engulf the victim, an adult male,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “As the fire raged out of control the defendant made no attempt to seek help or to summon emergency responders.”

The victim was brought to Lowell General Hospital, where he died from his injuries before a requested medical flight could reach him, according to officials.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was still reviewing the case and the victim’s identity had not been released as of Friday morning.

According to the district attorney’s office, the investigation remains ongoing.

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