The man who died in an early morning fire in New Haven has been identified as Charlton Gilbert.
Gilbert lived in the 6th floor apartment at University Towers where the blaze broke out on Wednesday. The State medical examiner ruled his cause of death smoke inhalation.
Friends said that Gilbert lived alone and frequented a bookstore and coffee shop called the Book Trader Cafe. He had an avid love for reading, employees said, and would sometimes come to the cafe multiple times a day.
“A renaissance man, especially in the esoteric arts. And he could converse about just about any topic for hours and often did,” Book Trader’s owner David Duda said.
It is unclear how old Gilbert was but neighbors said he appeared to be in his late fifties or early sixties.
Fire alarms went off at the 17-floor apartment building around 4:30 in the morning. Police and fire fighters quickly evacuated the building moving residents to the other side of the street.
Crews fought the blaze which concentrated in apartment 6-P. In the process, four people suffered minor injuries, including two fire fighters.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.