Investigation into SUV fire continues

Flames consume an SUV during an incident that left a Fairfield University student severely burned. ( Photo)

Flames consume an SUV during an incident that left a Fairfield University student severely burned. ( Photo)

Despite television and Internet reports, Fairfield Police said Friday, Sept. 28, there is no new information regarding the investigation into a Sept. 13 fire that left a Fairfield University student critically injured.

News12 Connecticut, citing a tip from a viewer, said Thursday police had just learned that Justin Hervey had purchased a can of gasoline at a local service station shortly before the fire.

Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, however, said Friday that police were aware of the gasoline purchase from the early stages of the investigation.

“We always knew that from having spoken with the family the day after,” Lussier said. The family said it was a common practice for him to have gasoline in the vehicle.”

The family, Lussier said, also said Hervey had been having problems with the car’s electronics.

Hervey said the same thing to bystanders as he ran from the car, engulfed in flames, in an incident witness by Little League baseball players and coaches at Tunxis Hill Park.

The 23-year-old from Armonk, N.Y., was in critical condition with severe burns at Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello said the day after the fire. Cappiello could not release information about the severity of the burns.

Video at shows heavy flames throughout the inside of the passenger compartment of the SUV.

Adults from the nearby baseball field helped put out the fire on Hervey’s body.

The investigation will not be complete for some time, Lussier said.

The state crime lab is hesitant to perform tests as part of the investigation because no crime is suspected, Lussier said. Fairfield Police are considering hiring a private lab to do the tests, she added.

“There will not be a disposition in this case for some time,” Lussier said.


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