Stratford fire marshal: Columbus Avenue fire intentionally set

STRATFORD — A fire in a Columbus Avenue duplex that left about 10 people homeless early Saturday was intentionally set, according to Fire Marshal Brian Lampert.

“A picture window on the first floor was broken and accelerant was either tossed or poured inside,” Lampert said.

He said a state police canine indicated the presence of accelerant behind a couch near that front window.

“We can’t say if the accelerant was in a glass jar and thrown through the window of if the window was broken and the accelerant was poured inside,” he said.

But, he said, it is an arson and the case will be handed over to the Police Department’s detective division to investigate.

Lampert said the family living in the left side of the duplex had just returned home shortly after midnight and were getting ready for bed when they heard glass breaking.

He said one of the residents went to check, found the fire and called 911. Residents on both sides of the building made it out safely, he said. There were no injuries reported.

Lampert said the fire was “pretty aggressive” and spread quickly leaving the left side of the building at 393-395 Columbus Ave. “a total loss.”

A partition wall helped save the right side from significant damage, he said.

It took firefighters about 35 minutes to extinguish the blaze, he said.; 203-330-6496;

Anne Amato