Teen killed in June fire honored on her birthday

A cake for Kristen Milano of Southington, killed in a fire in June. (AJ Walker, WTNH)
A cake for Kristen Milano of Southington, killed in a fire in June. (AJ Walker, WTNH)

CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been nearly two months since a Southington teen was killed when police say a firecracker was thrown into  the window of her family’s home as a prank.

Tuesday would have been Kristen Milano’s 20th birthday, and her friends and family came together to remember the college student. Milano’s friends and family gathered at Cheshire Hillside Cemetery to have a birthday celebration, even though she wasn’t here to see it. They wrote special messages to her on balloons before they released them into the air.

She died in June, after police say 18-year-old Eric Morelli threw a firecracker into her house as a prank meant for her brother. However, the firecracker landed in Kristen’s room and started a blaze that ripped through her Southington apartment. Police say she was asleep at the time and died of smoke inhalation.

“Honestly, our family has just changed forever in the blink of an eye,” said Melissa Milano, her sister. “We lost someone who meant the world to us. We all had a special bond with her.”

According to the court’s website, Eric Morelli is out on a $150,000 bond. He will be arraigned on Sept. 4. He’s charged with first-degree manslaughter and three counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly starting that fire that killed Kristen.

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