FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Fairfield Police had responded to calls three times in six months to a Crane Street home that caught fire Monday, March 10, killing a mother and her teenage daughter, according to the Fairfield Citizen.
Police reports indicated "squalid conditions" at the home and note that mother Maureen Gerrity told officers she "drinks all the time," according to the Fairfield Citizen report.
Police visited the two-story house and found "the kitchen littered with garbage and food, and soiled diapers and dirty clothes were strewn about the house" on one occasion, according to the Fairfield Citizen report.
Police notified state agencies after each visit and "the daughter's living conditions and care was the subject of a Probate Court hearing in January," according to the Fairfield Citizen report.
The Fairfield fire marshal ruled the blaze was accidental in nature, according to a previous Daily Voice report. Investigators identified the two victims as Maureen Gerrity, 47, and her daughter, Katherine O’Neill, 19, who was disabled. Firefighters found O'Neil and Gerrity in the same room shortly after arriving at the burning home at 135 Crane St. at 1 a.m., officials said. Both were declared dead at Bridgeport Hospital after being pulled from the burning Cape-style home.
No working smoke detectors were found in the two-story home, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Tracey 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.