The Middletown Fire Department has released the names of two women who died in an early-morning fire that gutted a home on Saturday.
Kim Crowley, 44, of East Hampton and Cheryl Micale 36, of Middletown, were killed in the fire and a man was injured. His name has not been released.
The fire department was called to 309 Barbara Road just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning. A man walked out of the house on his own and a woman was found in the bedroom. The couple was hospitalized with burns and cardiac problems and the woman later died. The man is still in Bridgeport Hospital recovering.
The other woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
When fire crews arrived, the home was fully engulfed in flames. It took nearly 40 minutes to get the fire under control, but later the hot spots rekindled.
"It took a little while, probably about 40 minutes," said Middletown Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger." It was all exterior attack with what we were presented. Once we rescued the two people we did nothing interior. Everything was from the outside."
Fire officials said a wood insert was used in the fireplace to heat the home.
Dane Johnson couldn't help but tear up as he stared at what's left of the home owned by a friend he's known since childhood. The fire left a gap between what's left of the home and what used to be an attached garage.
"I'm just shocked. I can't believe this even happened," Johnson said. "....They're outgoing, they're caring. They'll take the shirts off their backs for you. That's just the type of people they are. If this happened to any one of us, they would be here to help us rebuild, and that's just the type of people they are."
The couple living at the home was well-liked by neighbors.
"They were great people. They always helped you out. Snowblowed your drive way if you needed it. They were great people," neighbor David Beit said.
Neighbor Virginia LaWbaida said she saw the lights and "noticed all the flame coming from the fireplace."
"You couldn't find anyone better than these people," LaWbaida said. "I thank God to have people like that around me."
Fire officials say that the couple living in the home had a friend staying over. They also have a child who resides there but was not home at the time of the fire.
The state fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire. Investigators obtained a warrant to gain access to the home and were inside late Saturday morning investigating.