Mother of four-year-old Hartford fire victim dies

Hartford Fire Department vehicles at multi-alarm fire, Jan. 28, 2014.
Hartford Fire Department vehicles at multi-alarm fire, Jan. 28, 2014.

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Shortly before 10:00 PM on Wednesday night, Susan Therrien, 43, mother of Shantay Drake, succumbed to burn injuries as result of a fire on Bedford Street on Tuesday, January 28th. A vigil was held Thursday night, for her and her four-year-old daughter who also died in the fire.

Ms. Therrien is the second victim of the fire. The exact cause of death will be determined by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

Mayor Pedro E. Segarra released the following statement in response:

“I am truly disheartened to hear that the mother of Shantay Drake has passed. Fire and Health & Human Services are doing everything possible to assist the families and residents of that area. I also want to acknowledge the outpouring of support from everyone in our community. When tragedies like this occur, we join together and pray for those who are suffering grief and loss.”

Fire Chief Carlos M. Huertas is offering his thoughts and support on behalf of the Hartford Fire Department to the families during this very difficult time. The school community, in addition to Mayor Segarra, will honor the family at a candlelight vigil tonight at 6:00 PM at Jumoke Academy at Milner.

In addition, members of the Fire Department and Health & Human Services Department will be meeting with family and neighbors over the next several days. Anyone in need of assistance should contact Captain Helene Lynch of the Special Services Unit at 860-757-4530.

The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation.

To help defray the cost of funeral services and financial needs of victims, 7th District State Representative Douglas McCrory announced the organization of the “Bedford Street Fire Victim Relief Fund”. The fund will also collect winter clothing items, footwear, and household items for victims burned out of their apartments as they begin the process of rebuilding. Items can be dropped off at the office of Trinity Episcopal Church at 120 Sigourney Street Monday through Thursday from 9:00am until 3:00PM or during Sunday services.

Representative McCrory wishes to thank those who helped organize this effort so quickly, including Marco Signorelli, Manager, of the Hartford Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union as well as the Reverend Donald Hamer, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church for graciously offering his Church as a drop off point.

To arrange for pick-up of items, please contact 7th District spokespeople Kevin Brookman at 860-883-2297 or Victoria Fennell at 860-810-1160

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