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New Haven landlord lashes out at FOX61 inquiry

NEW HAVEN --  Still no word as to the cause or point of origin of the fatal rooming house in fire in New Haven over the weekend.

But, FOX61 encountered the landlord of the residence on a couple of occasions Tuesday.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner wrote, in a statement to FOX61:

"Both people, who died in the fire, in New Haven, were certified as accidental deaths, with a cause of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries. We have not yet positively identified them.”

Neither New Haven police nor fire officials have released the names of the deceased victims either. However, FOX61 has learned one of the men, who died, is Michael Randall, 44.

According to city records, the residence at 150 West Street, New Haven, is listed as a five bedroom, two family house. However, residents of this house say there were 10 bedrooms inside and no working smoke alarms. So, FOX61 reached out, via email, phone and text to a man named John Farrar, who owns the residence, according to city records.

Tuesday morning, a man believed to be Farrar called FOX61, unleashing on a profanity laced tirade in response to our inquiry.

Tuesday afternoon, residents of the burned out home, many of whom say they will be homeless in the coming days, pointed out to FOX61 that their landlord, who they only know as John, was standing down the street, speaking with a fire investigator on a public sidewalk. So, we approached him with our camera, looking for answers to many questions.

After noticing our camera and hurriedly walking up the sidewalk toward his car, he stopped and said repeatedly,"Do not record me."

When he was reminded he was on a public sidewalk, he and the woman he was with stopped speaking with the investigator and got into their car.

FOX61 was unable to confirm this man was indeed the owner of the property that burned, killing two and critically injuring another.

FOX61 has requested inspection records for the residence, at 150 West St. But, Livable City Initiative, the New Haven agency, which handles housing code enforcement, has not responded to the request.

One of the third floor tenants, who was sleeping when the fire broke out the floor below her, spoke with FOX61.

"Michael went up to me, approached me, and woke me up," said Katira Sanchez. "Michael was the one to save my life."

She was referring to 44-year-old Michael Randall, who also lived on the third-floor.

"He didn’t make it," she said. "He was going back to get his cousin."

Both Randall and a cousin were killed.

"If it wasn’t for Michael, no one would’ve gotten out of that house," said Michelle Raccio, one of Randall's family members.

She said her future stepson, who was staying at the house, when the fire broke out, is also a cousin of Michael Randall.

FOX61 has been told the owner of 150 West Street also owns another rooming house nearby. We will look into the records for that property, as well.

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