Police investigating Hamden fire as homicide

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Hamden police are investigating a fire that broke out early Saturday morning as a homicide.

Neighbors called 911 at around 1:20 a.m. to report the fire at 28 Lilac Avenue. When emergency responders went inside the house they found a 45-year-old woman on the second floor and brought her out through the front door. She was dead and had injuries that were unrelated to a fire.

Firefighters were able to quickly bring the blaze under control before it spread to any of the nearby houses. Ulysses Casteel and his wife live nearby and saw the fire.

“That’s a sad thing to happen on Christmas night,” he said. “You’re having a lot of joy and glee and all of a sudden something like this happens and it’s heartbreaking.”

Police say the woman was 45-years-old and they believe she was the only one living in the house. They’re not releasing her name until all of her family is notified. An autopsy is now being done at the Chief Medical Examiner’s office.

“Whether people or persons responsible knew her is unknown to us,” said Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra. “I’d love to be able to tell the public that this was an isolated incident and not random, but I just don’t have that information right now.”

A few hours after the fire police found the woman’s car burned in New Haven. They have seized it as evidence.

Danny Cuneo, who lives in the neighborhood, says he remembers the woman found dead as a “down to earth” person.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to them (those impacted),” said Cuneo.

The Connecticut State Police Arson Squad is assisting with the investigation.

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