Greenwich, CT – An extreme hoarder situation in Connecticut has left one person dead and one injured as police try to determine the events leading up to a fatal fire in the midst of an intervention.
Forty-two-year-old Dean Verboven along with his elderly mother Barbara Verboven were in the home at the time a blaze — said by authorities to have been “intentionally set” — broke out hours before social workers from the state were set to arrive at the residence.
Reports indicate that in the fire, Dean Verboven was killed and his mother was seriously injured following the conflagration inside the residence stacked with personal possessions. Richard Meehan, a neighbor of the Verbovens, described the scene during the rescue:
“Smoke pouring out of the house and we said there’s someone still inside, and about five or six minutes later they took the second person out in an ambulance over there.”
Neighbor John Pardo told press that the “extreme hoarding” situation seemed to result after Barbara Verboven fell ill:
“The lady used to work for the Board of Education in Greenwich and then she got sick and basically her son was taking care of her … It was a slow decline.”
“It is so hard for me to believe he is dead. He was 8 years old when we moved in.”
Gladys Pardo, another neighbor, said:
“I know this boy since he was 8 years old and they are … they are sweet people, nice people.”
“They were a very nice family … This is heartbreaking.”
Police, who responded to a call about the extreme hoarder home fire at around 7:10 am Tuesday, confirmed they believed that the fire was deliberately started but did not use the word arson when commenting. Barbara Verboven is currently in critical condition after the blaze.