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Body discovered on third floor of East Windsor home following fire: officials

Monday night, officials said one person was reported still missing. She was later found after the fire was put out.

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. — One person is dead following a fire at a multi-family home in East Windsor. 

The fire broke out just before 7:30 p.m. Monday on Church Street, according to officials. It was reported also that a person was trapped inside. 

When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke pouring out of the third floor. Bystanders at the scene also reported someone may still be inside the home. 

According to officials, two East Windsor Police Department officers made their way up the stairs found at the back of the home, trying to get up to the third floor. However, due to heavy smoke and high heat, they were unable to proceed any farther. 

Fire crews arrived about five minutes later and two firefighters also tried making entry to find the missing person. Officials said there was zero visibility inside. The fire continued to spread above them and they made the decision to move back out of the home to re-enter with a protective hose line. 

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Fire officials said due to high winds and hoarding conditions, it took crews about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.

"Very congested in there, a lot of stuff in there. A lot of belongings," Broad Brook Fire Chief Thomas Arcari explained. "I was the first one on scene. Went up to the third floor with the East Windsor officers. Got to the third-floor and the fire was coming out of the third-floor window. We tried to make entrance in there but it was just—smoke was banked down far. And the apartment was fully involved.”

“Guys had tough times and there so much clutter in there. The ceilings were coming down on them,” Arcari added.

No firefighter injuries were reported, and crews eventually found one victim who was pronounced dead at the scene. The family identified the victim as Bernice Tompkins, 56. 

Eight people in total were displaced from the home which was determined uninhabitable after the fire. Station coverage aid was provided by Ellington, Vernon, and Windsor Locks fire departments. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time. 

The Broad Brook firefighters, which serves East Windsor, responded to the fire, as well as Warehouse Point Fire Department, the other fire district in East Windsor. Enfield and South Windsor fire departments also responded to assist.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and is under investigation. 

The State Fire Marshall’s office was on the scene, along with the local building inspector. 

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