The Bridgeport Fire Department is investigating a suspicious fire at a home on Madison Court on Monday afternoon that left one man dead.
Investigators believe five separate fires at four vacant homes could be connected because of several factors including proximity, the timing of each and that all the homes were vacant.
The fires occurred in less than eight hours of each other in the Hollow section of Bridgeport.
Firefighters were called to 6 Madison Ct. around 3 p.m., which was their third fire call of the day. Upon arrival, heavy fire could be seen from the building.
After the fire was knocked down, firefighters searched the structure where they discovered a man's body on the second floor of the building.
Police are not identifying the man found dead inside the home at this time. They are trying to determine if the man was a squatter who was living in the vacant house.
Earlier in the day, firefighters were called to a house fire in the 300 block of Olive Street around 1:45 p.m. Firefighters would be called back to that home later in the day. Investigators believe this fire was relit and are investigating it as suspicious.
Fire officials are also investigating house fires at a home in the area of Center and Frank streets around 2 p.m. and one on George Street around 9 p.m.
Residents told Eyewitness News that they are concerned about the recent fires.
"That's really scary, you could be sleeping, they could start burning the house," said Angel Soto, who lives in the area of the Madison Court fire. "The next thing you know, your house is burning down too at the same time."
Eugene Leone's tenants could see the fire on Madison Court and called him, frightened. They said it looked like the man, who died in the fire, was trying to escape when he was overcome by the smoke.
"This is serious stuff, especially when lives are lost," Leone said. "It is tragic."
No arrests have been made in the investigation at this time. The fires are under investigation by the Bridgeport fire and police departments and are being assisted by the Connecticut state fire marshal's office.
Though there haven't been any more fires since Monday, neighbors told Eyewitness News they'll be keeping an eye on what's happening around them.
"I rent the house, and there's abandoned houses next to me," Soto said. "I'm afraid now someone will come in there and burn it too."
Investigators said they've collected a lot of evidence from all of the houses but they're asking for the public's help. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Bridgeport Police Department at 203-581-5201.
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