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Suspicious deaths: Man, woman, and baby die in house fire

<i>WFSB via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Three people
Arif, Merieme
WFSB via CNN Newsource
Three people

By Evan Sobol, Hector Molina, Luke Hajdasz and Dylan Fearon

Click here for updates on this story

    WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — Three people, including a baby, were killed in a house fire that was deemed “criminal in nature” by police in Wallingford.

Wallingford police identified the victims as Justin Varnado, 24, Karizmah Johnson, 19, and 9-month-old Kylenn Varnado.

Fire crews continued to investigated the scene and assess damage to the building at 25 Geneva Ave. on Thursday morning.

Police reopened the road around 12:15 p.m.

The fire broke out Wednesday around 6 p.m. inside the multi-family home.

One of the victims, Varnado, was found outside the home with severe burns and was transported to a hospital by a Lifestar emergency helicopter. His death was announced on Friday.

The two others, Johnson and Kylenn, were found inside a second floor apartment. One was pronounced dead on the scene. The other was transported to another hospital and later pronounced dead.

Deputy Fire Chief Sam Wilson said his department was still working to confirm how many people lived in the home.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke on the second floor, which made it challenging for them to enter the building.

“When the crews got there, they encountered that first victim,” Wilson said. “They quickly transported him to an area hospital. They went inside and encountered the heavy black smoke, fire, and heat to get to the rest of the victims.”

The Red Cross was said to be helping multiple affected families.

A cause for the fire had yet to be determined.

“Investigation conducted by the Wallingford Fire Marshal’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office with the assistance of the Wallingford Police Department’s Investigative Services Division, Central District Major Crime, and the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office indicates that the incident is criminal in nature,” said Chief John Ventura, Wallingford Police Department.

Police said additional information would be released as it becomes available.

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