Five killed in Connecticut house fire

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 25, 2011 11:58 AM
Five killed in Connecticut house fire

(Reuters) - Authorities said two adults and three children were killed as fire tore through a large house in Stamford, Connecticut, early on Christmas morning.

Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia and acting fire chief Antonio Conte confirmed the fatalities from the scene of the blaze, which began just before 5:00 a.m. in the Shippan Point neighborhood near the city's harbor.

"Three adults and two children lost their lives," Pavia said in news video posted on the Stamford Advocate newspaper's website.

"At this point, we have nothing further to say, except that our hearts and prayers go out to the family and to emergency personnel on the scene," he added.

Calls to the mayor's office and Stamford fire department were not immediately returned, as offices were closed for the weekend and the Christmas holiday.

Video showed fire ripping through a house in the residential district of large homes.

It was unclear whether all the victims were members of the same family. Conte could not immediately say whether the deceased adults were the parents of the three children, as the fire was still being investigated, he said.

Conte said teams were working to secure the fire, to determine its cause and to recover bodies. He added that officials would have no further comment until later in the day.

A three-alarm blaze at a building on Shippan Avenue was called in at 4:53 a.m., Stamford Fire & Rescue announced in an early morning Twitter message.

Stamford is on Connecticut's shore on Long Island Sound, about 40 miles northeast of New York City.

(Reporting by Zach Howard. Editing by Tim Gaynor)