Autopsies expected Friday on Griswold couple killed in fire
Griswold — Autopsies are scheduled to be performed Friday on Wayne F. and Linda J. Guyette, the Griswold couple killed in Tuesday morning's house fire at 39 Tatro Road, the state medical examiner's office said Wednesday.
State police said the Griswold Fire Department responded to the residence after receiving 911 calls around 4:13 a.m. Tuesday. Responding fire personnel found the single-family home fully engulfed in flames, state police said. After they secured the scene and extinguished the blaze, two bodies were found within the home, state police said.
Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, said every occupant of the home was accounted for. There are tentative identifications of the two victims, he said, and the investigation remains open. The state medical examiner's office will determine the manner and cause of death of the two victims, Vance said.
According to online records, the home is owned by Wayne F. and Linda J. Guyette. The couple bought the ranch-style, one-story home, which sits on 4.5 acres, in 1984, the records indicate.
Little has been released about the cause of the 4:13 a.m. blaze, which remains under investigation and destroyed the one-story, ranch-style house in a rural area of Griswold.
At the scene, Don Berry, a neighbor who lives on Breakneck Hill Road, confirmed the dead were the Guyettes. Berry said he is a longtime friend of Daniel Guyette, who lives with his parents on Tatro Road but was not home at the time of the blaze.
When Berry heard about the fire, he went to the scene and found a distraught Daniel Guyette.
"I just embraced him," Berry said. "You don't ask anything at that point, you just give him a hug. It's sad, it's very sad."
Berry said he gave Daniel Guyette a ride to his car from the scene. Another neighbor told Berry that the home had been engulfed by flames and was subsequently destroyed. Two women walking down the road would not comment on the fire but said the Guyettes were "well-loved."
Police blocked off Tatro Road about a half-mile away from the home at the intersection with Breakneck Hill Road, Stone Hill Road and Hell Hollow Road. No one, be it neighbors or the mail delivery truck, was allowed up Tatro Road for much of the day Tuesday.
At about 3:30 p.m., family friend Dave Mackin drove to Tatro Road in his work pickup truck stamped "All-American Mackin Asphalt" on the driver's side door. Mackin said a friend called him Tuesday afternoon and told him that the Guyette house had been on fire and two people were dead.
Mackin went to school with Daniel Guyette and worked with him doing odd jobs at times. Mackin described the Guyette family as "a little bit wild and a lot of fun." He would hang out with Daniel Guyette and said the family was loud and friendly.
"Everybody liked them," Mackin said.
Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony, who said he did not know Wayne and Linda Guyette or their children, said Griswold has had its share of tragedy in the past several years, including fatal fires and a December 2010 car crash that killed four teenagers.
Anthony praised the Griswold and Jewett City volunteer fire departments for their dedication to their duty in tough situations.
The state police fire and explosion unit responded to the scene as well as major crime detectives and the local fire marshal. Investigators continue to examine the scene for physical and forensic evidence, police said, and are conducting interviews of any witnesses.
Day Staff Writer Sasha Goldstein contributed to this report.
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