Fire investigators detected traces of an accelerant on a second-floor staircase of the New Haven home where three members of the same family died in a fire early Wednesday morning.
The victims were all found on the third floor.
Officials say a burn pattern suggests gasoline or another flammable liquid was poured and ignited.
The fire in the multifamily home at 48-50 Wolcott St.killed Quayshawn Roberson, an 8-year-old second grade student who attended the Clinton Avenue School; his mother, Wanda Roberson, 42; and Roberson's 18-year-old niece,according to the New Haven Independent.
Fire officials said the fire appeared to be arson. Mayor John DeStefano called the fire a triple homicide Wednesday afternoon, and police said they were looking for a dark-colored minivan seen leaving the area.
Quayshawn's brother, Quayvon, a third-grader, was burned in the fire, but survived, the Independent reported.
Ten investigators are working on the case.