8 people displaced, 3 cats killed in Norwich fire
Norwich — Eight people were displaced from their homes and three cats were killed when a two-family home caught fire Monday night.
Firefighters responded about 7 p.m. to a two-unit home where eight people lived at 1 Taftville-Occum Road and battled the blaze for about an hour and a half, according to Occum fire Chief Carroll Spaulding.
The fire extensively damaged one of the apartments as flames traveled up through the walls, causing damage to multiple floors. Everyone who lived in that apartment escaped the blaze safely. The family who lived in the other unit was on vacation at the time of the fire, Spaulding said.
Three cats who lived in the home did not survive, Spaulding said.
Spaulding said that although the investigation is ongoing, the fire was being considered suspicious at this time.
Firefighters from the Mohegan Tribal FAST team, Taftville Fire Department, Yantic Fire Department, Baltic Fire Department and Lisbon Fire Department responded to the scene.
The displaced residents were being helped by the American Red Cross and were staying at a hotel. The owner of the home, who was out of state at the time of the fire, was flying back to Connecticut to assist the tenants, Norwich Fire Inspector Joe Crowley said.
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Jaiden Santora is described as a white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5 foot 8 and weighs about 160 pounds, police said. He went missing from Norwich on Friday.
The victim, identified as Georgette DiCandia, 92, who was trapped inside the burning home at 97 Somersett Drive has died, police confirmed Friday.
The truck struck a tree and poles near the intersection of Great Neck Road and Deerfield Road about 11:43 p.m. The driver fled the scene after the crash, according to the Waterford Police Department.
Victim had yet to be identified Friday afternoon following incident Thursday night that police believe to be an accident.