FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Initial investigations into the early Monday morning fire on Crane Street that killed a 47-year-old woman and her 19-year-old daughter show that there were no working smoke alarms in the house that could have alerted the residents, officials said.
A working carbon monoxide detector had been found but that it might not have provided enough warning to the two occupants, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Tracey said.
It's likely the fire started much earlier than when it was reported by a neighbor across the street, Tracey said. The neighbor called 911 after a front window on the house at 135 Crane Street burst from the flames and heat at about 1 a.m. Monday.
The blaze was fully involved when firefighters arrived at the house shortly after 1 a.m. Within the first five minutes, firefighters had entered the home and begun to battle the blaze, Tracey said. Shortly after entering the home, they were able to get the two women out of the second story and into waiting ambulances, he said. Both were taken to Bridgeport Hospital.
The women were found in the same room on the second floor of the home, Tracey said, adding that it was unclear whether that was the regular sleeping arrangement for the two.
The identities of the victims were being withheld until the next of kin was notified, the fire department said.
"It was an extraordinary effort," Tracey said of the work of the firefighters. The flames, he said, made the building so hot that several firefighters believed they had been burned through their suits after entering.
The blaze was heavy on the first and second floors at the front and right side of the house when firefighters arrived, he said.
Fairfield last fatal fire fire was four years ago at Quincy Condo's in Southport, Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said.
"I think it leaves all the responders in a saddened state," he said. "It's a tragic reminder," for residents to check their fire alarms in their homes, said MacNamara.
Residents are encouraged to contact the Fire Department for help in installing or placing fire alarms in their homes.
Fire Marshal Kessler and representatives from the State Fire Marshal’s Office were investigating the cause of the blaze.