Fire Than Killed Man in Bethel Was Set: Police

The house fire early Thursday morning on Castle Hill Drive in Bethel that killed a man was purposely set, according to police.

Firefighters from several departments responded to 43 Castle Hill Drive just after 1 a.m. on Thursday after a neighbor called for help.

The right side of the home completely engulfed in flames and firefighters had to use water tankers to fight the fire because there are no fire hydrants in the area.

After searching the heavily damaged home, firefighters found the body of a man in a bedroom off the living room. 

Police have identified him as Edward Bruce, 56, and said he was the only resident of the house. 

The medical examiner determined he died of smoke inhalation and thermal burns.  The manner of death is under investigation.

Investigators have determined the fire was purposefully set and they are trying to determine the motive.

Bethel Police are not looking for anyone in connection with the fire and said there is no threat to public safety. 

This is not the first fire at this house.  Two months earlier, first responders rescued a man trapped inside, according to police.   

“April 8th, we responded to a fire here as well. The occupant at that time was removed from the home and sent to the hospital with minor injuries. That fire is still under investigation,” Det. Sgt. Mike Libertini, of the Bethel Police Department, said. “We’re looking at whether it was an accidental fire or a purposely set fire and we don’t know that.”

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