Phone That Likely Started West Hartford Fire Was Destroyed in Blaze

Officials said a cat was rescued.

A West Hartford resident thinks her new cell phone, which was charging on the bed, sparked the fire at her home on Tuesday morning and officials said that phone was destroyed in the blaze.

Lillia Burnett was asleep when the fire started in her home at 8 Rosemary Court around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and her 9-year-old grandson was the one to wake her.

“I was frightened because what happened. He tried to see what he could do and when he tried he was in the room and came in and said, ‘Grandma! It’s smoking up in here! What’s going on?’ And he looked and he saw the phone,” she said.

Everyone was able to get out of the house by the time firefighters arrived, but the family's 28-pound cat, Rupert, had to be rescued from the second floor of the home.

Burnett said she got a loaner phone on Saturday night, activated it, plugged it in and had it by her bedside to use as an alarm. Last night was the first time she used the charger from the old phone with the new one.

Firefighters said they family tried to put the blaze out with water and pushed the phone off the bed.

“When it got under the bed, it really erupted,” Michael Sinsigalli, the assistant fire chief, said.

Brittany Anderson then ran into the room and said the mattress was “like paper burning” end everything burned.

Burnett was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and said she’s feeling better now and she’s crediting her grandson for being a hero who saved the family.

"I think he's the hero because he's the one that saved us," Burnett said about her grandson.

The fire marshal has been investigating the cause of the fire, but the assistant fire chief said it will not be able to determine for sure that the phone caused the fire because the blaze destroyed it.

Officials said they have no reason not to believe the phone sparked the fire.  

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