Fatal Fire in Meriden Started at Stove: Officials

The fire at 86 Pettit Drive in Meriden that took a woman’s life early Friday morning appears to be cooking related and there were no working smoke detectors in the house, according to the fire chief.

Firefighters responded to the single-family house around 3:30 a.m. after receiving reports of heavy fire and pulled the woman from a back bedroom.

She was then rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, fire officials said.

The woman and her husband were home when the fire started and he was able to get out of the house.

He and the neighbors fought desperately to get the woman out.

"I yelled at him not to go back inside," Debbie Leaverton, of Meriden, said. "I started banging on the windows on the house, but it was quiet inside. There was no, no sound."

Fire Chief Kenneth Morgan said the couple had been cooking the night before and contents of the stove caught fire, then fire spread through the house.

Neighbors also reported hearing an explosion before seeing flames and officials believe a propane tank on the back deck might have been the source of the explosion.

"We were all in shock. I still can’t believe," Leaverton said of the fire that killed her neighbor.

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