NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Officials in North Haven are investigating a fire that killed a man whose body was found in the basement.
“Just seeing the vehicles here last night I knew something drastic must’ve happened,” said Bernie Hummel.
Hummel lives right across the street from the home along Hartford turnpike in North Haven, the scene of an early morning fire that got neighbors talking. “I got a call from the woman next door and she asked if we knew, I was sleeping, and she asked my wife if we knew what was happening,” said Hummel.
The fire broke out around 12:30 Sunday morning. Fire crews arrived within minutes to find a fire in the basement.
“There were two people in the home. One had gotten themselves out. We found the second in the basement,” said Chief Vincent Landisio, North Haven Fire Department.
News 8 has learned the two people inside that home were a father and son. Officials say the father was woken up by smoke, tried calling to his son, who was down in the basement but there was no response. The father was able to safely get out of the house. The fire chief tells News 8 the son died in the fire.
“The mom died and the father and son live together here. The son, he is about my son’s age, about 50-years-old,” said Hummel.
The fire chief says the one positive in all of this was that there was a working smoke detector inside that home which allowed that one person to get out safely.
“It’s an excellent reminder, obviously the victim who was sleeping was alerted to smoke in his home by detection and was able to get out,” said Landisio.
The state fire marshal was on scene through much of the day gathering information. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, as neighbors try to make sense of what happened. “Nice people. very nice. I mean, uh, very sociable, ordinary people,” said Hummel.
UPDATE: On Monday, authorities identified the victim as Kevin Tennyson, age 50. The cause of death is pending further investigation.