Hoarder’s Fire Kills One, Leaves 2-Year-Old Girl In Critical Condition

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

An apartment fire that killed one woman and injured her husband and their 2-year-old daughter is being blamed on hoarding.

The efforts of Bridgeport firefighters were impeded by piles of clothing stacked almost to the ceiling. Firefighters could not fit through the narrow aisles in the home.

Marisol Estrada, 43, and her 2-year-old daughter Allianna were found in a bedroom in their second-floor apartment beneath piles of clothing.

"They faced severe fire conditions with flames rolling on the ceiling above them," said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli.

Estrada and her daughter were taken out of the home through a window.

Allianna was taken to Shriners Hospital for Children in critical condition, the New Haven Register reported.

The girl’s father, Jose Roman, had escaped the fire but was attempting to go back inside when first responders arrived. Roman, 53, is the building’s superintendent. He was taken to the hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

Roman’s condition is now “good,” but Estrada succumbed to her injuries on Monday, Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello told NBC Connecticut.

"[She was] like my sister, my everything," Virgen Rodriguez, a longtime family friend, told the NBC-affiliate. "I'm going to miss her."

"We want to express our deepest sympathies for Marisol's family," Mayor Bill Finch said in a joint statement with Fire Chief Brian Rooney on Monday. "This is a heart wrenching event for our entire community. Her daughter Allianna remains in our prayers tonight, and we hope people all across Bridgeport keep her in their prayers, too."

Officials say the fire was worsened by items in the home.

"There were literally tons of fuel in this apartment that should not have been there. This should not have happened," Finch said. "This fire was preventable if our society could address the disease of hoarding."

Sources: New Haven Register, NBC Connecticut

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Logan Ingalls,