Victim in fatal Bethel fire named


BETHEL — Officials have identified the victim in Thursday’s fatal house fire as 56-year-old Edward Bruce.

The man died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns after the fire burned his single-family ranch on Castle Hill Drive just after 1 a.m., police and fire authorities said.

A preliminary investigation shows the fire was “incendiary in nature,” meaning it was intentionally set, according to a news release.

However, the motive for setting the fire is still under investigation and officials have not determined whether it was a suicide attempt. Authorities said they are not looking for anyone in connection with the fire and there is no threat to public safety.

Bruce is the first person to die by a fire in Bethel in at least 10 years, Fire Marshal Thomas Galliford said, but this is not the first fire in his house this year.

On April 8, firefighters were called to the home to battle a small fire and Bruce was taken to Danbury Hospital with injuries consistent with smoke inhalation.

Galliford said the cause of the April fire is still under investigation because the evidence in that case was not as clear as the evidence in Thursday’s fire.

Bruce lived by himself and did not have family in Bethel, the fire marshal said.



Nelson Oliveira