Mother, daughter die in Fairfield fire

Women pulled from Crane Street home, pronounced dead later at hospital

A woman and her teen daughter both died when fire tore through their home at 135 Crane Street early Monday, March 10.

Maureen Gerrity, 47, and Katherine O’Neill, 19, have been identified as those pulled from the burning structure by firefighters. Both later died at Bridgeport Hospital.

The Fairfield Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that the area of origin was in the first floor living room and the cause was believed to be accidental in nature.

The initial 911 call at 12:58 a.m. reported “flames pouring out of the house” across the street, with the caller uncertain whether the people who live there were home.

Car 3, Engines 1, 2, 3 and 4, and Ladders 1 and 2 were immediately dispatched, with Assistant Chief George Gomola in Car 3. Gomola was first on the scene at 1:03 a.m., reporting “heavy fire showing from the [front and right side] with two people trapped.”

Engine 2 stretched a 2½-inch hose to knock down the large body of fire in the first floor living room allowing Ladder 2 to enter via a window to initiate a search. As Engine 3 set up a ladder to the second floor dormer window to gain entry, Ladder 2 reported finding the two occupants in a second floor bedroom and beginning a rescue.

Both occupants were removed and turned over to American Medical Response for transport to Bridgeport Hospital where they were later declared dead; one firefighter went with AMR to assist in patient care.

Engines 1 and 4 along with Ladder 1 arrived and assisted in fighting the fire which had extended into the second floor and attic space, as well as dropping down into the basement from the living room.

Fire Chief Richard Felner, Deputy Chief Art Reid, Fire Marshal Bill Kessler, Deputy Fire Marshal Darrick Lundeen, Inspector Hank Ference and Safety Officer Chris Tracy arrived onscene along with Engine 5, Southport Squad 14 and Tactical Unit 14 and Westport Engine 2 with Assistant Chief Rob Yost to assist, and several AMR ambulances along with United Illuminating joined Fairfield Police in securing the scene.

Representatives from the State Police Arson Investigation Unit and Building Official Tom Conley responded for the investigation, with Fairfield Fire Marshal Bill Kessler last unit to clear at 1:44 p.m. Monday.

Investigators dig through the Crane Street house where a mother and daughter both were killed in a fire early Monday, March 10. (John Kovach Photo)

Investigators dig through the Crane Street house where a mother and daughter both were killed in a fire early Monday, March 10. (John Kovach Photo)

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