Investigation into Deadly Bethel Fire

Bethel, CT – A press release was sent out from the Bethel Police department and was made in conjunction with the Bethel Fire Marshal’s Office about an investigation into the cause and origin of yesterday’s fire.  

“On 06/04/15, members of the Stony Hill Fire Department, assisted by the Bethel Fire Department, Bethel Police Department, mutual aid assistance from the Brookfield, Redding, and West Redding Fire Departments responded to 43 Castle Hill Drive for a report of a structure fire.  During the course of suppression activities, fire department members located a deceased male in a small bedroom adjacent to the living room.  The Bethel Police Detective Bureau was notified as well as assistance requested from the CT State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit.  The deceased male was later identified as Edward Bruce, a 56 year old male, of 43 Castle Hill Drive, Bethel, CT.  He was the sole occupant of the residence.

An investigation into the cause and origin of the fire as well as a death investigation of Bruce began involving the Bethel Fire Marshal, Bethel Police Detectives, and the CT State Police Fire and Explosion Unit.

After a preliminary investigation into death of Bruce, it was determined by the Medical Examiner that Bruce’s cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal burns.  His manner of death is pending further studies.

After a preliminary investigation into the cause and origin of the fire, investigators were able to determine an area of origin and a resulting cause.  The cause of the fire was determined to be incendiary in nature, meaning it was a purposefully set fire.  However, the motive for setting the fire is still under investigation.  Bethel Police are not looking for anyone in connection with the fire and there is no threat to public safety as a result of this incident. ”

Detective Sergeant Michael Libertini             AND             Fire Marshal Thomas Galliford

43 castle hill

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