Investigation into borough fire looks at possible arson

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Naugatuck firefighters work at a structure fire on Prospect Street early Saturday afternoon. No one was injured in the fire at the two-family home. The fire is being investigated as a possible arson, fire officials said. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — A fire Saturday in a Prospect Street apartment is being investigated as a possible arson.

Ann Goss, 75, had been evicted from her first-floor apartment at 504 Prospect St., and was moving out with her son’s help when a mattress and box spring propped against her bedroom wall caught fire, Acting Fire Marshal Robert Weaver said.

Investigators believe a cigarette or a lighter started the fire, and are trying to determine if it was done intentionally, Weaver said.

Borough police are assisting in the investigation, and state police brought dogs Saturday to sniff for an accelerant such as gasoline or kerosene, Weaver said.
Whether such fuels were used remains undetermined, Weaver said.

Goss’s bedroom burned, and the rest of the building sustained water, smoke and heat damage, Weaver said. He estimated repairs would cost at least $25,000.
The building’s owner, Manuel Nobre, lived on the second floor with his family, Weaver said.

All residents are temporarily displaced from the building while electrical wiring and other damage is fixed, Weaver said.