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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

Newton fire claims life of former WGBH producer, friend says

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Published on February 21, 2011 in The Boston Globe MetroDesk Blog

-Shared byline with Travis Andersen

NEWTON — A fire that broke out early this morning at a Newton home has claimed the life of an award-winning former television producer for WGBH, a family friend said today.

The friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Beth Deare, who was in her early 60s, died in the blaze. Deare lived at 56 Waverley Ave. with roommates and had been battling brain cancer, he said.

“She was a wonderful person,” the friend said. “She was an extremely dignified woman.”

He said she had won several Emmy awards for her work in television. Deare was a long-time host and associate producer of WGBH’s “Say Brother,” a public-affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, according the station’s website.

Deare produced national broadcast projects for PBS, including “Midnight Ramble,” about early race movies. She also taught at Bunker Hill Community College, according to the school’s website.

“She was a talented producer and someone who really made connections with others and the community,” said Jeanne Hopkins, WGBH vice president for communications and government relations. “She was really committed to ‘Say Brother’ and being an active voice in the African American community.”

Newton Deputy Fire Chief Mike Castro said investigators believe the fire started in the victim’s second floor bedroom. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation but there are no signs that it was suspicious.

Castro said firefighters had difficulty finding the victim because the roof collapsed from the third floor onto the second floor.



Written by jdunccc

February 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

Posted in MetroDesk Blog, The Boston Globe

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