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June 20. 2013 10:48PM

Fire officials continue to investigate Litchfield blaze

LITCHFIELD — Fire officials say they are still trying to determine the cause of a fatal fire that occurred more than three weeks ago at a Litchfield mobile home park.

Dwaine High, 55, was found dead May 30 after being located inside of a shed that was engulfed in flames. The shed, housed behind lot No. 26 at 31 Page Rd., was destroyed in the blaze, and two nearby mobile home units received smoke, heat and water damage.

“We are still listing the fire as undetermined,” Robert Farley, deputy state fire marshal, said earlier this week. “We are trying to piece together some of the activities of the gentleman prior to the fire.”

Fire officials have not yet determined whether the blaze was accidental or intentional, according to Farley, who said everyone is working hard to make sense of the situation.

“This part of the investigation does take a while, as we have to find out where he was and where he had been to create a proper timeline of events,” Farley said.

Numerous people are being questioned about the matter, he added.

As of Friday, High’s autopsy results had not yet been completed, according to a spokesperson who answered the phone at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who added it could take up to 12 weeks.

It is not yet clear what High, who was renting the mobile home from Michael Brodeur, was doing in the shed at the time of the blaze, said Farley.

There was a small workshop area in the shed, which also stored a snowblower and other typical household lawn and garden tools.

Farley said earlier that there is no reason to believe that High was dead prior to the explosion and fire.

Police Chief Joseph O’Brion said earlier that his department is assisting in the investigation, trying to determine if any foul play or criminal activity may have been involved. O’Brion is waiting until the cause of the fire is determined, along with the autopsy results, which he said will help guide the police-involved portion of the investigation.

The owner of the mobile home, Brodeur, previously declined to comment on what may have happened behind his residence.

High was listed as a registered sex offender in Hillsborough County. High, formerly of Newbury, was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault in 1991, and attempted felonious sexual assault in 1978, according to his criminal record.

khoughton@newstote.com


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