Police have identified the two young men who died in a house fire in New Britain Sunday.
The victims have been identified as 17-year-old Elijah Little and 29-year-old Shaheen Davis, who both lived at 73 Elam St. New Britain Public Schools, where Elijah was a student, say the two were brothers.
The chief state medical examiner’s office determined the two men died of smoke inhalation and said their deaths were accidental.
The New Britain Fire Department responded to 73 Elam Street on Sunday and found heavy fire engulfing the house. The fire department received reports of two people trapped in the building so they made an "aggressive, interior attack," Fire Chief Raul Ortiz said.
The two men were trapped on the second floor of the home, according to Ortiz.
A cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the state fire marshal and city fire investigators are investigating.
Damon Pearce, the principal of New Britain High School, released a lengthy statement about Elijah with quotes from his friends describing him as a "happy soul" and someone that transcended the peer groups and got along with everyone.
"Elijah was one of those rare individuals that belonged everywhere," the statement read.
Dean of Students Tasha Manzie also penned a statement, which read in part:
"Elijah was a huge presence on this earth, and his impact will forever be felt in the lives of all that have had the pleasure of meeting him.
He always had a smile on his face…it was contagious! He spoke to everyone! He was articulate and was not bound or boxed by stereotypes. He had a roughness around his edges, but his true essence and being was in that smile.
I have heard hundreds of stories since his passing. The one common theme is that when people talked about Elijah, they smiled. Not the pain of his passing, or the hurt that they feel.
But when they truly closed their eyes with a memory in his presence, there always came a smile. That smile is where he lives on in all of us. Remember him that way."
A vigil is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. at the house at 73 Elam St.