Cause of New Britain fire that killed two still undetermined

Published on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:20
Written by Charles Paullin


NEW BRITAIN - The blaze that consumed a house at 73 Elam St. last month, killing two brothers, is still under investigation.

New Britain Fire Marshal Don King told The Herald Tuesday the investigation was ongoing.

The burned remains of the house were standing Wednesday afternoon with boarded-up windows and doors. The smell of charred wood hung in the air.

Over 50 candles were displayed in front of the house on the front steps and out in the front yard on the walkway, with pictures of the two victims, Elijah Little, 17, and Shaheen Davis, 29, on some of them.

“Papi says he’ll miss you and him arm wrestling. Ima miss you! - Grizzy,” was written on one candle with a heart symbol. Multiple pictures of Davis lined another candle.

A neighbor said Wednesday that he was traveling in Texas the day of the fire but his mother was home and saw the flames starting in the doorway of the house. By the time she went to put her shoes on so she could run out to help the victims, the fire had engulfed the building.

A sister of the two victims was able to escape the flames.

New Britain High School classmates of Little said he had run back inside the house to rescue Davis, who was autistic.

The neighbor, who requested anonymity, said he didn’t see Davis much, other than when he would go from the house to the car, but he did see Little often with a lot of friends.

Little would take care of the house he lived in and helped the neighbor when the neighbor’s dog would run away, the neighbor said.

“It’s sad,” the neighbor said, adding he wishes he had told the family to replace the plywood with drywall, as he had done in his home when he moved in a couple of years ago.

Another fire, at 424-426 Chestnut St., was ruled accidental and caused by an improperly discarded cigarette, King said Tuesday.

That fire was on March 3.

Most of the fire was on the exterior second-floor porch and extended to the third floor, fire officials said at the time. No injuries were reported.

A resident in the second floor unit said she was able to get out of her with her two young children, the Herald reported.

The New Britain Fire Department on its Facebook page praised 9-year-old Coryn Perry, who they say was the first to notice the fire, told her parents and called 911.

Charles Paullin can be reached at860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:20. Updated: Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:22.