Cause of fatal mobile home fire undetermined

The cause of the Jan. 26 mobile home fire in Idleview Park in Naugatuck that killed 58-year-old Paul Kingman Jr. has been ruled undetermined. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — Officials weren’t able to determine the exact cause of a fatal mobile home fire in January due to the heavy damage caused by the blaze.

“We can’t actually pin down the ignition source,” said Fire Marshal Robert Weaver, who added the investigation officially listed the cause as undetermined.

The Jan. 26 fire, which was reported shortly after 1:20 a.m., in Idleview Park near the Middlebury border killed 58-year-old Paul Kingman Jr. Two other people who lived in the mobile home escaped the fire.

Weaver said the fire started in a bedroom where Kingman was and he died of smoke inhalation. There was a space heater and electrical cords in the room, Weaver said, and Kingman smoked, all of which could have been causes of the fire.

“We know it started in the bedroom,” Weaver said. “Beyond that, we’d just be guessing.”

The Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit and Naugatuck police assisted in the investigation.

Weaver said there is no evidence to suggest the fire was arson or that an incendiary was used to start the fire.

Weaver said it can be more difficult to determine the exact cause of a mobile home fire. Once a fire gets full involved in a mobile home — like the Jan. 26 fire — the home’s metal outer skin acts like an oven and bakes everything inside, he said.