Couple, Adult Child Killed in West Haven Condo Fire

A couple and their adult child died in an early morning fire at Mallard Brook Crossing condos in West Haven on Tuesday.

The fire broke out in unit 214 at 89 Coleman Street around 4 a.m., police said.

On Wednesday, fire officials identified the victims as Michael Paone, 75, Lori Russel, 62, and Michele Paone, 28.

Neighbors said they tried desperately to get to the victims, but the flames were too intense and the smoke was too heavy.

When firefighters arrived, neighbors were pointing in the direction of where they thought the smoke was coming from, said Chief James O'Brien, of the West Haven Fire Department.

One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene and two died at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Neighbors said the victims were a couple and their adult daughter.

"I don't recall us having a triple fatal, this many at one time, so it's emotional for the families, the residents and certainly for our fire fighters," O'Brien said.

Kimberly Mathis said she just visited her close friends this past weekend.

"They were good people, good people. So I don't know. It hasn't sunk in for me yet," she said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated. It appears to have started in the living room area. Neighbors said the couple smoked and had mobility problems.

The condo was equipped with smoke detectors, but it's not clear whether they were working, officials said. Neighbors said they did not hear fire alarms go off.

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