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Fatal Fire: Unclear if House Had Smoke Detectors in Living Area

"We didn't see any indication of them, but that doesn't mean they weren't there because there was so much damage," a fire official says.

Two women were killed in their Crane Street home when a fire broke out on Monday. Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Two women were killed in their Crane Street home when a fire broke out on Monday. Credit: Fairfield Fire Department
Due to the extent of damage that a deadly fire caused inside a Crane Street home, Fairfield firefighters say they are unable to definitively determine if there were working smoke detectors on the first and second floors.

The early morning fire on Monday killed Maureen Gerrity, 47, and her 19-year-old daughter, Katherine O'Neill [full story here].

Assistant Fire Chief Chris Tracy told Patch Monday evening that investigators did find a working carbon monoxide and smoke detector in the basement of the two-story Cape at 135 Crane St., above the washer and dryer.

"We were not able to determine if there were smoke detectors on the first and second floor due to the nature of the fire, the extent of the fire," he said. "We didn't see any indication of them, but that doesn't mean they weren't there because there was so much damage."

Tracy said the "late notification" of the fire from a neighbor across the street — the resident called 911 at 12:58 a.m. on March 10 reporting flames pouring out of the house — suggests that it was a possibility that there were no working smoke detectors on the first and second floors.

"We hope not," he added. "But it has been the case in a number of our fatal fires."

The Crane Street fire came a day after the "Spring Ahead" time change, when safety officials encourage residents to change the batteries on their CO and smoke detectors. The Fairfield Fire Department did so in a Facebook post on March 3, when it wrote:

"Don't forget to change your smoke detector batteries this Saturday March 9th. The life you save may be your own!!"

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