Police identify victim in fatal New London fire

New London — Police have identified the victim in a fatal fire Wednesday at 40 Eastern Ave. as 64-year-old Stanley Jacovich, the owner of the condemned home.

Jacovich died of smoke inhalation, according to results of the autopsy performed at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The cause of death was ruled accidental.

Police said an investigation continues into the early morning fire that occurred at the boarded up multi-family home. The residence was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Having received information someone may be inside, firefighters entered and pulled Jacovich out of the burning building. He was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Tony Szramoski, shelter operations manager of the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, said he was saddened to learn of Jacovich’s death. Jacovich, he said, had stayed at the shelter on and off over a period of a year and a half.

Szramoski said Jacovich repeatedly went back to the condemned home at 40 Eastern Ave., perhaps because of its sentimental value as something he had owned.

Szramoski said the shelter has seen an uptick in admissions this week as the weather grows increasingly colder. On Wednesday, it opened its warming shelter earlier than usual in reaction to that.

With the weather, he said, sometimes people “do what they need to do” to find a place to stay for the night.

“And unfortunately, sometimes things like this happen,” Szramoski said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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