UPDATE: Kristen Milano, 19, has been identified as the victim of a deadly fire in Southington on Sunday morning. She lived in the apartment, 32 Darling Street, Apt. A.
Milano died of smoke inhalation. The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide, and police continue to investigate.
A deadly fire ripped through a Southington apartment complex on Sunday morning.
The state fire marshal was at 32A Darling Street for more than eight hours investigating.
Fire officials confirmed late Sunday that a woman died in the fire. They did not release her name.
Many at the Summer Brook Apartments spent the day staring at the charred apartment as the news filtered through the complex.
“I just heard little kids talking this that and the other that um, there was a death,” said Janet Rogers, who lives across from the fire scene.
Lt. Glenn Dube described the discovery to reporters.
“Firefighters made entry. They made it to the second floor, were confronted by very high heat, very punishing conditions, and during the fire attack they found her in one of the bedrooms,” he said.
Rogers said the person who died was a young woman in her 20s who lived there with her family.
“Beautiful girl, had so much going for her and, um, it’s very sad,” said Rogers. “I mean, I love that family. They know that they’ve got a lot of people there, you know, to support them, and I just want them to know that we’re here.”
Some whispered around the complex that the flames started from a firecracker.
“I don’t have anything for you on that. That’s all part of the investigation. At this point, I don’t want to comment on an open investigation or allegations or rumors,” said Dube.
Whatever happened, neighbors said it’s a difficult scene to explain to the many kids who live in and around the apartments.
“I have a 4-year-old granddaughter inside who just got dropped off, and all she’s saying is, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on, Grandma?’ ” said Rogers. “She hasn’t put the two and two together that she knows whose house that is.”
Dube said it had been at least 13 years since the department’s last fatal fire.