Candle Started Fatal Fire

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ An investigation has determined that a 2010 blaze that killed two Bridgeport firefighters was an accident started by a candle that was left burning too close to combustible materials.

Connecticut State Police said Tuesday that no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the July 2010 fire, in which Lt. Steven Velasquez and Firefighter Michel Baik were killed.

The investigation determined they died of smoke inhalation and that their air packs were empty. Federal safety officials have criticized the department for failing to effectively respond to their distress calls.

The investigation also found the Elmwood Avenue home had been improperly converted from a two-family home to a three-unit dwelling. However, the owner will not be prosecuted under state building codes because local officials never cited the alleged violations.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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