One dead after Greenwich Hoarder fire

One dead after Greenwich house fire

  • Staff

GREENWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — A 42-year old man was killed and his mother taken to the hospital after a fire tore through their Greenwich home Tuesday morning.

Neighbors say Dean Verboven was killed in the fire. The condition of his mother, 69-year-old Barbara Verboven, was not immediately available. She was being treated at Bridgeport Hospital.

The fire started a little after 7:00 a.m. at the home at 46 Havemeyer Dr., authorities said. The Greenwich Timereports a man and a woman were rescued by firefighters who were searching the house.

“My wife said to them ‘go in the front because the lady is inside. There are 2 people’,” neighbor John Pardo said.”

“Rushed over, saw smoke rushing out of the house,” said neighbor Robert Meehan. “About that time they were bringing the lady out of the house and we said there was somebody else in the house. They seemed to have stopped looking for the second victim.”

The mother and son had lived in the home for at least 35 years. Barbara Verboven was the widow of a Greenwich police officer. Neighbors say Barbara has been sick for some time and her son had been caring for her.

“The lady used to work for the Board of Ed in Greenwich and then she became sick and basically the son was taking care of her,” Meehan said.

There are two other sons in the family who neighbors say live out of state.

Neighbors say the residents were hoarders.

Police say the large amount of clutter inside the home made it difficult for firefighters to fight the fire and get the victims out.

Greenwich police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray said the inside of the house was pretty cluttered. “I would say the condition of the home inside the residence impacted on the entry of the fire department.”

Police are investigating what caused the fire; a fire they are now saying was intentionally set. They’ll know more after an autopsy is performed.