Officials release name of man who died in Greenwich fire - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Officials release name of man who died in Greenwich fire

Posted: Updated: Jan 13, 2014 05:31 PM

GREENWICH, N.Y. - The name of the man who died in a Greenwich fire has been released along with details of what contributed to the blaze.

The Greenwich Cambridge Fire Department responded to the report of a house fire around 5 p.m. Sunday at 52 Salem Street. The fire quickly spread to the two houses on either side of the original site of the fire.

The fire was brought under control around 8 p.m. and demolition has begun on the home. The second floor caved into the first floor during the blaze, which is where officials found 77-year-old Paul Parker deceased.

As first responders arrived on Sunday, the smoke was too heavy and the flames too hot for crews to rescue the man.

Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said "The initial officers, when they responded, did encounter some sort of explosion."

As flames tore through the second floor the blaze quickly spread to two neighboring homes. Those two families are now displaced from their homes.

Robin Peltier lived in one of the neighboring homes.

"The whole siding is all charred up and shutters melted broken glass water damage," she described.

The resident who lived in the second floor apartment with family, tried to salvage what was left of their belongings and memories.

"She found family photos," said Peltier. "She cried. I'm glad she found them because she's got nothing now so I'm really happy that she does but my hearts with her."

Greenwich resident Solomon Charhon was scared as he watched this home at 56 Salem Street go up in flames, spreading quickly to nearby homes. He was scared because he said he knew what could have caused the fatal fire that killed parker.

"I was concerned," explained Charhon. "I knew that he smoked and I knew he was on oxygen and I've known of people that do smoke while their tank is on its just very dangerous obviously and that was my concern that that was what happened to him."

Bell said an autopsy has confirmed Parker died due to the fire and sustained burns on 90 percent of his body.

He also said Parker was smoking a cigarette in his living room, while using an oxygen tank, all contributing factors to the blaze.

"You know the guy had a ton of medical history," explained Bell. "It's a sad state of affairs but I guess at this point he had on enjoyment in life unfortunately that was smoking and here we are today."

Parker's wife was in the living room when the fire started and she escaped with minor burns. They had lived in the apartment for two years.

"I've seen too many people die of cancer and accidents like this," said Bell.

Police say this was not the first time police were called to 56 Salem Street for a fire incident. Last year, Parker suffered burns to his face during a similar incident, according to authorities.

"He has a medical condition and there was an issue where he was burned in the residence back in October," explained Bell.

Residents contacted NEWS10 ABC about concerns over the fire departments involved in this case, wondering why Middle Falls and Easton Fire Departments were not called as they are close by.

Chief Bell said mutual aid protocol was followed and would not comment further.

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