GREENWICH, Conn. (WTNH) -- Police in Greenwich are saying that a deadly house fire was intentionally set.
Police say a fire that broke out Tuesday morning at a house in Old Greenwich was intentionally set.
The residents, a man and his 69-year-old mother were home at the time. The son was pronounced dead, while his mother is in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital.
While police are looking into who set the fire that killed 42-year-old Dean Verboven and sent his 69-year-old mother Barbara to the hospital, some in town are questioning whether it could have been Dean who set it. It's something his friends are wondering about.
"It makes me wonder did he start it intentionally or did he start it out of negligence, like if he's 'a hoarder' and he lit a match and tossed it and fell asleep because he did have a tendency to drink," said Louis Borselio, friend of Dean. "I don't want to say that to be mean, but it could have been a deliberate start or an accidental start."
He describes Dean, or 'Duke' as he is known to his friends, as a bit of a recluse who cared for his ill mother.
"He was a friendly guy you could have conversations with him, hang out and just talk about things whatever the topic was with it," said Borselio.
He says Dean had recently become a recluse. Officials say there was a hoarding problem in the home that caused authorities to stop by the house on several occasions.
Greenwich town officials tell News 8 they were out at the house twice in the past year, they issued the residents two warnings for the clutter and junk that's outside of the house. When you look around the area, it appears someone was building a fence around the mess to hide it from public view. However, police say inside of the house there was so much clutter that it was difficult for firefighters to put out the fire and find the two victims."
The Greenwich Department of Social Services had also made several visits to the home since September to address the hoarding situation. They were trying to get Dean to clean up the house, but they say not much progress had been made. In fact, they were scheduled to stop by for a visit to evaluate the progress the day the fire was set. It was the day, they say, that social services would decide whether other agencies needed to be called in.
Whether this played a role in why the fire was set remains to be seen. Police will release more information later this week.
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