Police Found Issues With Alcohol, Care In Home Where Mom, Teen Died In Fire

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Fairfield Police responded to calls three times in six months to a Crane Street home that burned in a fire Monday, March 10 killing a mother and her teenage daughter, according to the Fairfield Citizen.
Fairfield Police responded to calls three times in six months to a Crane Street home that burned in a fire Monday, March 10 killing a mother and her teenage daughter, according to the Fairfield Citizen. Photo Credit: Courtesy Fairfield Fire Department

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.

Click here to read the full report from the Fairfield Citizen. 

Click here to read the original Daily Voice story on the fire.

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Comments (4)

The story needs to be told,issues like smoke detetctors to law enforcement entering the picture etc is all life.
Who knows maybe next time someone can step in and prevent this from happening again .Maybe the courts will feel the heat,the firemen did.

Maybe this might make you all understand or remind us all what our first repsonders deal with and have to take home after the shift.

Its election time grants are passed out like candy,our politicians couldn't throw some money to fire and police prevention programs?

Of course its disturbing to read its FAIRFIELD COUNTY.

I agree a sad story second thought was what about the husband ,the father didn't care enough or was he powerless.Maybe its time for society to wake up.Can't change the future unless you know the past.No outside signs of this?Who could of done more the courts?the town?

Heroin use epidemic in Fairfield County another great story where are our politicians with the money they love to throw around election season?

I am so outraged by this article. A pointless and hurtful expose on a very sad and tragic loss of life.
Happy to be unsubscribing to the Daily Voice after reading this.

I absolutely agree with DKBRA2693. By all accounts this woman's life could not have been easy. She was caring for a disabled child, who was an adult, trying to hold down a job, pay her bills and get through life. Perhaps she slept very little, was overwhelmed by the physical and mental demands of caring for a severely disabled family member and had no support system. With each budget cut, these are the people who sink deeper and deeper as they are the first to lose any semblance of help they may have had. Please pray that they are both in a better place now.

Dear Daily Voice,
Poor poor choice to air this piece of a very sad story. Even the most topical of looks into the lives of these people would indicate a difficult life to say the least. Compassion and empathy are called for, not sensational journalism. Shame on you.